William Knight (fighter)

William Knight (born April 3, 1988) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

William Knight
BornWilliam Knight
(1988-04-03) 3 April 1988 (age 34)
Manchester, Connecticut, United States
Other namesKnightmare
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight251 lb (114 kg; 17 st 13 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach73 in (185 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofEast Hartford, Connecticut, United States
TeamThornton Mixed Martial Arts
Years active2018–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout9
By decision2
By knockout2
By decision2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Knight was bullied during his youth, be it for his small stature or skin color. He was abused by his step-father and when he was 7, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families moved him and his younger brother Eric out of their family’s home and into foster care. He spent the next year with a foster family before moving in with his grandmother.[2]

He was also put on Ritalin for ADHD, which Knight says made him even more of a target of bullying due to the medication turning him into a "zombie" and stunting his growth. His father took him off the medication, along with him starting wrestling in high school, as a turning point in his life. However when he finished high school in 2006, Knight lost direction and he "did nothing" for 10 years while playing video games, sitting on the couch, and eating unhealthily. He was almost 300 pounds with five ruptured discs in his back, when one day he was moving his high school year book and a photo from his wrestling days fell out. Seeing him back then led Knight to realize that he had to get back his 10 years.[3] After the incident, he joined Thornton Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness in August 2015 hoping to train in Jiu-Jitsu, getting convinced to try Muay Thai.[2]

Mixed martial CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

Knight made his amateur debut in early 2016, compiling an 8-1 record before turning professional in 2018. The highlight of his amateur career was a set of bouts against fellow future UFC heavyweight Yorgan De Castro, with Knight winning the amateur MMA fight via unanimous decision, and De Castro winning a Muay Thai bout via unanimous decision shortly before Knight turned professional.[4]

Makign his MMA debut at Reality Fighting, he faced Tom Velasquez and went on to defeat him via TKO in the first round, going on to win his next three bouts; Terrance Jean Jacques via TKO in round two at Premier FC 26, Walter Howard via TKO in the first round at Premier FC 27, and culminating with Kevin Haley via TKO in round one in his debut appearance at CES MMA 54.[5]

Knight was invited to Dana White's Contender Series 24 on August 13, 2019 and faced Herdem Alacabek. He won the bout via TKO in the third round, and while he didn't obtain a UFC contract, he was signed to a development league contract.[6]

For his second outing with CES MMA, Knight faced Dana White's Contender Series alum Jamelle Jones and defeated him in the first round at CES MMA 59 to earn back to back wins with CES MMA.[7] He faced fellow future UFC fighter Tafon Nchukwi at CFFC 80 on November 22. He lost the bout in a controversial first-round stoppage, where the ref thought he was knocked out when covering up, for which the ref apologized afterwards. Knight bounced back in January 2020, defeating Rocky Edwards with a third-round TKO at CES 60 to earn a spot on season four of the Contender Series.[2]

Knight got another chance at a UFC contract at Dana White's Contender Series 31. He faced Cody Brundage and won the bout via TKO in the first round, this time leaving with a contract to the UFC.[8]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Knight made his UFC debut against Aleksa Camur at UFC 253 on September 27, 2020. For the first time in his professional career, he went to the judges and won the bout via unanimous decision.[9]

Knight stepped in on short notice to replace Shamil Gamzatov against Da Un Jung on April 10, 2021, at UFC on ABC: Vettori vs. Holland.[10][11] Knight lost the bout via unanimous decision.[12]

Knight faced Fabio Cherant on August 21, 2021, at UFC on ESPN: Cannonier vs. Gastelum.[13] He won the fight via knockout in round one.[14] With this win, Knight earned a Performance of the Night award.[15]

Knight was scheduled to face Alonzo Menifield on February 27, 2021, at UFC Fight Night 186.[16] However, the bout was postponed during the week leading up to the event after Menifield testing positive for COVID-19. The pairing was expected to be left intact and rescheduled for UFC 260.[17] This time Knight was removed due to COVID-19 protocols.[18] The pair was rescheduled to December 4, 2021 at UFC on ESPN 31.[19] Knight won the fight via unanimous decision.[20]

Knight, as a replacement for Ed Herman, faced Maxim Grishin on February 12, 2022, at UFC 271.[21] At the weigh-ins, Knight weighed in at 218 pounds, 12 pounds over the light heavyweight non-title fight limit, marking the biggest weight miss in UFC history.[22] As a result, the bout was shifted to heavyweight and Knight was fined 40% of his purse, which went to Grishin.[23] Knight lost the bout via unanimous decision.[24]

Knight faced Devin Clark on on April 16, 2022, at UFC on ESPN 34.[25] He lost the fight via technical knockout in round three.[26]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
15 matches 11 wins 4 losses
By knockout 9 2
By decision 2 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 11–4 Devin Clark TKO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Luque vs. Muhammad 2 April 16, 2022 3 3:21 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Return to Heavyweight.
Loss 11–3 Maxim Grishin Decision (unanimous) UFC 271 February 12, 2022 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Heavyweight bout; Knight missed weight (218 lb).
Win 11–2 Alonzo Menifield Decision (unanimous) UFC on ESPN: Font vs. Aldo December 4, 2021 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–2 Fabio Cherant KO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Cannonier vs. Gastelum August 21, 2021 1 3:58 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 9–2 Da Un Jung Decision (unanimous) UFC on ABC: Vettori vs. Holland April 10, 2021 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–1 Aleksa Camur Decision (unanimous) UFC 253 September 27, 2020 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Win 8–1 Cody Brundage TKO (elbows and punches) Dana White's Contender Series 31 September 1, 2020 1 2:23 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–1 Rocky Edwards TKO (punches) CES 60 January 24, 2020 3 2:56 Lincoln, Rhode Island, United States Return to Light Heavyweight.
Loss 6–1 Tafon Nchukwi TKO (punches) CFFC 80 November 22, 2019 1 2:30 Hampton, Virginia, United States Catchweight (225 lb) bout.
Win 6–0 Jamelle Jones TKO (submission to punches) CES 59 October 25, 2019 1 4:27 Lincoln, Rhode Island, United States Heavyweight debut.
Win 5–0 Herdem Alacabek TKO (punches) Dana White's Contender Series 24 August 13, 2019 3 4:34 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–0 Kevin Haley TKO (submission to punches) CES 54 January 19, 2019 1 3:33 Lincoln, Rhode Island, United States
Win 3–0 Walter Howard TKO (punches) Premier FC 27 November 10, 2018 1 3:12 Westfield, Massachusetts, United States Won the Premier FC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Terrance Jean-Jacques TKO (punches) Premier FC 26 June 16, 2018 2 2:35 Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Win 1–0 Tom Velazquez TKO (punches) Reality Fighting May 4, 2018 1 2:08 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Stats | UFC". ufcstats.com.
  2. ^ a b c kmaher@journalinquirer.com, Kyle Maher. "Knight has gone from Manchester to the upper echelon of MMA". Journal Inquirer. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  3. ^ "Bullied and bothered: How DWCS 24's William Knight overcame torment, faulty medication, and obesity". MMA Junkie. 2019-08-13. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  4. ^ "William Knight ("Knightmare") | MMA Fighter Page".
  5. ^ Painter, Myles (2019-10-29). "Across The Pond Profile: CES MMA fighter William Knight | MMA UK". Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  6. ^ Lee, Alexander K. (2019-08-13). "Dana White's Contender Series results: Four receive contracts on night of third-round stoppages". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  7. ^ "CES MMA 59 Results: Paiva Defeats Dooling". Combat Press. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  8. ^ "Dana White's Contender Series 31 results: William Knight, two more get UFC contracts". MMA Junkie. 2020-09-01. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  9. ^ Bitter, Shawn (2020-09-26). "UFC 253 Results: William Knight Gets Past Aleksa Camur". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  10. ^ Andrew Whitelaw (April 9, 2021). "Da Un Jung says change of opponent doesn't affect him ahead of UFC on ABC 2". asianmma.com.
  11. ^ Nolan King (2021-03-24). "William Knight out of UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols; Alonzo Menifield meets Fabio Cherant". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  12. ^ Doherty, Dan (10 April 2021). "UFC Vegas 23 Results: Da Un Jung Stifles William Knight, Stays Undefeated". Cageside Press. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  13. ^ "New England vs. New England: UFC adds Fabio Cherant vs. William Knight to August 21 event". MMA Junkie. 2021-05-08. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  14. ^ Behunin, Alex (2021-08-21). "UFC Vegas 34 Results: William Knight Knocks Out Fabio Cherant In First Round". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  15. ^ a b Hiergesell, Dan (2021-08-22). "UFC Vegas 34 Bonuses! Bahamondes Leads $50K Winners With Insane KO". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  16. ^ Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-11-23). "William Knight vs. Alonzo Menifield added to UFC Fight Night on Feb. 27". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  17. ^ Nolan King and Mike Bohn (2020-02-25). "Alonzo Menifield tests positive for COVID-19; UFC Fight Night 186 bout vs. William Knight postponed". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  18. ^ Nolan King (2021-03-24). "William Knight out of UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols; Alonzo Menifield meets Fabio Cherant". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  19. ^ DNA, MMA (2021-11-20). "UFC doet wederom nieuwe poging voor Alonzo Menifield vs. William Knight, ditmaal op 4 december". MMA DNA. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  20. ^ Doherty, Dan (2021-12-04). "UFC Vegas 44: William Knight Takes Home Close Decision Over Alonzo Menifield". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-12-05.
  21. ^ "Wederom invalpartij voor Knight, ditmaal tegen Grishin". Eurosport (in Dutch). 2022-01-29. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  22. ^ Harry Davies (2022-02-11). "UFC fighter gives up 40 per cent of purse after twelve pound weight miss". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-02-11.
  23. ^ Staff (2022-02-11). "UFC 271: Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 Official Weigh-In Results". ufc.com. Retrieved 2022-02-11.
  24. ^ Anderson, Jay (2022-02-12). "UFC 271: Maxim Grishin Takes Decision In Impromptu Heavyweight Fight with William Knight". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2022-02-13.
  25. ^ Nolan King (2022-03-31). "William Knight stays at heavyweight; Devin Clark elevates to fight him at UFC on ESPN 34". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  26. ^ Behunin, Alex (2022-04-16). "UFC Vegas 51: Devin Clark Knocks Out William Knight In Heavyweight Debut". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2022-04-17.

External linksEdit