Top 5 Submissions of April so Far

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2013

Top 5 Submissions of April so Far

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    The UFC has put on three events in the month of April alone, and so far there have been a number of impressive submissions at the events. Notably, there were no submissions at UFC on Fox 7, as eight of the fights ended by knockout.

    So, that means UFC on Fuel 9 and The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale had to pick up the slack. Between the two cards, there were some impressive and exciting submissions that had fans on their feet and in disbelief.

    Here are the top five tapouts of the month of April so far.

5. Tom Lawlor Def. Michael Kuiper Via Guillotine Choke

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    There was nothing fancy about the way Tom Lawlor submitted Michael Kuiper in Sweden. In fact, it was a gritty, workmanlike effort that got the American the victory.

    Likely behind on the scorecards after one round, Lawlor found himself on his back against a Judo black belt with solid grappling. It was there that Lawlor found his opportunity, throwing in a tight guillotine choke.

    The tapout came after a period when it looked like Kuiper would pull his head out, but Lawlor achieved his goal. Kuiper was losing daylight and had to submit to the gritty wrestler.

4. Diego Brandao Def. Pablo Garza Via Arm-Triangle Choke

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    In less than a round of fighting, Diego Brandao reminded fans why he won TUF 14.

    Taking on a taller, rangier Pablo Garza, Brandao realized that his best bet was to challenge Garza on the ground. From there, Brandao could use his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to fish for a submission.

    He achieved just that, passing Garza's guard and slapping on an arm-triangle choke. It was a beautiful display of grappling that put the Brazilian back on the map at 145 pounds.

3. Bubba McDaniel Def. Gilbert Smith Via Triangle Choke

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    It took three rounds, but Bubba McDaniel reminded fans why he was a favorite on TUF 17 when he tapped out teammate Gilbert Smith with a beautiful triangle choke.

    My theory with McDaniel is that multiple drastic weight cuts on the show slowed down his performances and hurt him in the cage. I may be right or wrong, but his finish of Smith definitely warrants a round of applause.

    Likely taking the first two rounds, McDaniel could have cruised the rest of the fight and coasted to a win. Instead, he caught Smith in a beautiful submission and earned his UFC contract impressively.

2. Reza Madadi Def. Michael Johnson Via D'arce Choke

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    I am not sure which is more impressive: the fact that Reza Madadi survived a nasty head kick at the end of the first round against Michael Johnson or the submission he used to defeat him in the third round.

    Madadi definitely had to earn his win in Sweden, but he got it in highlight-reel fashion. Needing to win the final round of his fight, Madadi ended up getting Johnson on the ground and slapping on a picture-perfect D'arce choke.

    The win set the Swedish crowd on fire and led to the Iranian-Swede to give an amusing post-fight interview. All in all, a gutsy performance by "Mad Dog."

1. Daniel Pineda Def. Justin Lawrence Via Kimura

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    The best submission of the month came on the Facebook portion of the TUF 17 finale, and boy was it something. Feared striker Justin Lawrence found himself on the receiving end of a nasty kimura finish by Daniel Pineda.

    Both likely fighting for their jobs, these men were bound to give us something to talk about. Pineda needed just over 90 seconds to put Lawrence on the mat and slap on the devastating submission hold.

    Lawrence had no choice but to tap, leaving Pineda with a Submission of the Night check in his hands.