Submission artists may not get the voluminous publicity of their knockout-seeking counterparts, but there's no question they are just as dangerous. Maybe more so.
A jiu-jitsu finisher (or any submission artist) can not only finish but control fights. Here are the sport's best submission artists, divided by weight class.
The Nova Uniao flyweight is 14-2, with half his wins coming by way of submission.
If he can develop a better takedown and/or striking game, he could be big in the UFC's smallest division.
I tried to overthink this for a second, but then I came to my senses.
The clear choice here is Urijah Faber.
His ground game is second to none, and he might have the deadliest guillotine choke in the game. The move is so lethal it doubles as takedown defense—it's that strong of a deterrent.
There are other featherweights with better numbers or training bona fides than "The Korean Zombie."
However, after his highlight-reel twister on Leonard Garcia and then the Fight of the Year-winning chokeout victory over Dustin Poirier, there is no other featherweight I'd rather avoid on the ground.
It's true that the 29-year-old hasn't faced the same level of competition as other lightweights, but against Kotetsu Boku last month in ONE FC, Aoki sure looked like a world-beater to me.
He thoroughly dominated Boku in capturing the promotion's lightweight strap.
Not only the best submission artist at 170 pounds, but very possibly the best submission artist in the UFC.
If the fourth-degree jiu-jitsu black belt gets past Josh Koscheck in August—and I've got a house that says he will—that would be four in a row and, hopefully, a title shot or No. 1 contender bout.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is, at age 36, slowing down a little. But he still has six pro wins by submission and recently outlasted Rashad Evans at UFC 156.
His rematch in June with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who defeated him back in 2005, will say a lot about where Lil Nog's career is heading.
Frank Mir has seen better days. But he is still, to my mind, easily the best jiu-jitsu finisher in the heavyweight division.
Any uncertainty gave way in 2011, right along with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's humerus.