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A knockout is a result of a severe concussion and a concussion is just a result of hard blow to the head. The brain floats within the skull suspended in fluid and concussions are caused when the head moves at such a violent rate that it forces the brain to crash into the side of the skull. A well timed strike to the jaw or temple can easily cause this. When this sudden trauma happens the brain quickly acts to begin repairing itself, diverting resources to that process at the expense of other brain functions (usually mobility first). This is why when fighters get rocked, the legs start to give out first and they lose the ability to move with coordination even while still conscious. When the brain determines that damage is severe enough to warrant it, it will shutdown the entire body and cause the person to completely lose consciousness while it attempts to repair itself as quickly as possible.