Kevin Bieksa of the Anaheim Ducks used a familiar MMA move to drop an opponent in a fight on the ice.
Of all the major pro team sports, hockey is unique for a few reasons. One of them is obviously that the game is played on ice. Another is that, unlike baseball, basketball or football, it is legal to fight in a game. Yes, you get penalized. But if two guys want to drop the gloves in the NHL and settle their differences, they are allowed to do so and (usually) won’t be thrown out of the game or suspended.
Tonight, in a game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Philadelphia Flyers, two players decided to do that. Not exactly unusual for that to happen. But the outcome of the fight between Kevin Bieksa and Radko Gudas was unusual, since it consisted of a single punch. An MMA-style Superman punch, in fact.
Check it out.
Bieksa one punched Gudas with a superman punch pic.twitter.com/C6arqp7PMC
— Wheeling Problems (@wheelingprobs) October 25, 2017
Here’s the angle from the other side:
Kevin Bieksa superman punch pic.twitter.com/r8PZs3jchF
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 24, 2017
The live announcers even identified it as a Superman punch and called it a “UFC move”. Georges St-Pierre would be proud.
Bieksa, a 36-year-old defenceman who played for 10 seasons in Vancouver before joining the Ducks, has been in 54 fights in his regular season NHL career including tonight’s short tilt. He’s probably best known for another one-punch finish, knocking the brother of NHL Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov out cold with one punch outside a bar in 2004 while still in the minor leagues, despite giving up four inches in height and about 50 pounds.
He thought the incident might be the end of his time with the farm team, but the Canucks general manager was so impressed with what Bieksa did that he signed him to an NHL contract instead.