Gray Maynard, Robert Emerson Combined for Rare Double Knockout at ‘TUF 5’ Finale

Jun 15, 2016
Video game aficionados are quite familiar with the concept, because in the button-mashing world of fighting classics such as Street Fighter or Tekken, the double knockout is all too common. In mixed martial arts, however, the feat is far more difficult to achieve, particularly at the sport’s highest level.

However, when “Ultimate Fighter 5” competitors Gray Maynard and Robert Emerson squared off at the reality show’s finale on June 23, 2007 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, the perfect storm occurred. And yes, the result is officially listed as a double TKO, not a double KO, but that’s simply splitting hairs at this point.

The evening’s card featured a few interesting matchups, as B.J. Penn submitted Jens Pulver in the headliner, and Nate Diaz won the “TUF 5” crown by forcing a tapout from Manny Gamburyan, but none of the above was nearly as memorable as what transpired earlier in the evening between Maynard and Emerson.

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For all intents and purposes, this was Maynard’s fight. After some furious back-and-forth action in the bout’s opening minute, “The Bully” asserted himself through positional control, eventually mounting Emerson and punishing his foe with ground-and-pound until the end of the frame.

After easily banking the first round, the former NCAA All-American at Michigan State University wasted little time getting back to work in the second frame. After rocking Emerson with a massive uppercut, Maynard changed levels, lifted his man in the air and emphatically slammed him to the canvas. Emerson yelled out in pain once he hit the mat and immediately began to tap out.

Done deal, right? Not exactly.

When Maynard executed the slam, he drove his own head straight into the ground, knocking himself unconscious. Referee Steve Mazzagatti rushed in to wave off the fight and attend to Emerson, but it quickly became apparent that Maynard was in a pretty bad state himself.

“He was so badly hurt going into the round that this was just the icing on the cake, but it’s so crazy that Gray knocked himself out,” UFC analyst Joe Rogan said. “Look, he’s gone.”

What was initially believed to be a Maynard victory was the ruled a no contest as a result of the double knockout. When the verdict was announced, an incredulous Maynard yelled in disbelief and stormed about the Octagon as boos rained down from within the Palms Casino Resort.

Maynard remained in denial during his post-fight interview.

“I remember sitting in the corner. He tapped; I thought it was over,” Maynard said. “I rolled over. Of course I’m a little tired....My arm was under his back. I was waiting for my arm to get out. He was waving Emerson off. I don’t understand this, man. I’m dead serious.”

The protests were all for naught, as Maynard and Emerson wound up sharing a little slice of UFC history.

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