10 Best Submissions of 2013

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2014

10 Best Submissions of 2013

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    The year 2013 was good when it came to submissions. UFC on Fuel TV 10 featured eight submissions in one night, which has to be a record, and the UFC in general saw a bevy of tapouts.

    There were crazy submissions everywhere, delighting MMA fans and grappling fans alike. Whether it was a nasty choke hold or a painful joint lock, it seemed every card had a great submission on it.

    In fact, 2013 should have been the year of the armbar. It seemed to be one of the most prevalent submissions in MMA.

    Here are the 10 best submissions from the year 2013, a list that was incredibly hard to narrow down. 

Honorable Mentions

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Michael Chiesa def. Colton Smith via rear-naked choke

    Piotr Hallmann def. Francisco Trinaldo via kimura

    Bobby Green def. Jacob Volkmann via rear-naked choke

    Michelle Waterson def. Jessica Penne via armbar

    Donald Cerrone def. Evan Dunham via triangle choke

    Demetrious Johnson def. John Moraga via armbar

    Urijah Faber def. Michael McDonald via guillotine choke

    Renan Barao def. Michael McDonald via arm-triangle choke

    Matthew Lozano def. Klayton Mai via inverted triangle choke

    Sergio Moraes def. Neil Magny via triangle choke

    Ronda Rousey def. Miesha Tate via armbar 

10. Chael Sonnen Def. Mauricio Rua Via Guillotine Choke

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen

    For some reason, people don't expect Chael Sonnen to ever tap anybody out. They look at him and see a wrestler who sits on top and doesn't do much, which makes almost no sense.

    When Sonnen took on Mauricio Rua, people predicted that Shogun would make Sonnen tap.

    Little did they know, it would be the other way around.

    After using his wrestling to stifle Shogun, Sonnen jumped on a guillotine choke that Rua left open. Several seconds later, "The American Gangster" finished Rua, who was forced to tap.

    It was a beautiful display of technique.

9. Steve Carl Def. Josh Burkman Via Triangle Choke

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    sherdog.com/Keith Mills

    World Series of Fighting 6

    The WSOF Welterweight Championship was on the line, but many people had already crowned Josh Burkman the champion after defeating Jon Fitch earlier in the year.

    Steve Carl didn't get the memo.

    It was a spirited, back-and-forth fight. However, about a minute into the fourth round, Carl locked Burkman up in a beautiful triangle choke that put him to sleep.

    Carl was the champion and Burkman had to be woken up. 

8. Ronda Rousey Def. Liz Carmouche Via Armbar

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

    Ronda Rousey's entrance to the UFC saw her take on rugged contender Liz Carmouche in their respective debuts. It was also the first time Rousey had ever been in trouble.

    Rousey found herself in a rear-naked choke early, but wiggled her way out of it. She then got Carmouche to the ground and found her patented armbar for the win.

    There's a reason Rousey is the best at what she does, so expect to continue seeing her in the submission of the year countdowns for years to come.

7. Joe Warren Def. Nick Kirk Via Inverted Triangle Armbar

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    sherdog.com/Dave Mandel

    Bellator 101

    Going into Bellator 101, Joe Warren had no submission wins on his record. When it was all said and done, he had his first one against Nick Kirk.

    On the ground, they found themselves in a weird predicament, but Warren managed to snake his legs under the chin of Kirk. From there, he grabbed Kirk's arm and squeezed the life out of him.

    The triangle armbar was one of the best submissions of the year, and it was definitely the best submission in Bellator this year. 

6. Fabricio Werdum Def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Via Armbar

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    UFC on Fuel TV 10: Werdum vs. Nogueira

    Two masters of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, heavyweight aces Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, met in Brazil this year. 

    Many speculated that the ground battle would be even. However, Werdum ultimately showed why he is the greatest submission artist in the heavyweight division.

    He got Nogueira in an uncomfortable position and snagged his arm. The armbar damaged Nogueira, but the devastating hold was a thing of beauty.

5. Anthony Pettis Def. Benson Henderson Via Armbar

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    Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis

    Many thought that Benson Henderson was unsubmittable. Anthony Pettis showed them otherwise. 

    From the opening bell, Pettis was the dominant fighter, and was never worried even when Henderson took him down.

    From his active guard, Pettis threw up his legs and grabbed Henderson's arm. He secured the armbar and forced Henderson to tap out.

    Nobody in attendance knew what happened, but Pettis submitted the champion to gain the lightweight belt. 

4. Erick Silva Def. Jason High Via Inverted Triangle Armbar

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC on Fuel TV 10: Werdum vs. Nogueira

    Erick Silva was coming off a disappointing loss to Jon Fitch and needed to get a win to re-shine his star.

    Boy, did he get that win when he faced off with Jason High. 

    In just over a minute, Silva put High on the ground and landed in an interesting position. Being the skilled jiu-jitsu artist he is, that was no problem. He synched up an inverted triangle armbar that earned him a bonus check from the UFC.

    It was a truly beautiful display of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

3. Kenny Robertson Def. Brock Jardine Via Suloev Stretch

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 157

    If you didn't know what a Suloev stretch was before UFC 157, I wouldn't have blamed you. How often do you see one, anyways?

    Kenny Robertson got on Brock Jardine's back at UFC 157, but it looked like Jardine would shake him off.

    Instead, Robertson grabbed his ankle and straightened out Jardine's leg.

    The hold tore Jardine's hamstring and scored Robertson a post-fight bonus check. It was devastating and unique. 

2. Rose Namajunas Def. Kathina Catron Via Flying Armbar

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    sherdog.com/Dave Mandel

    Invicta 5: Penne vs. Waterson

    The year 2013 has been good for the ladies. They are featured more and more by top promotions and getting opportunities to shine.

    Invicta FC has been especially helpful. It has been a platform for women to ply their craft.

    Rose Namajunas scored one of the most beautiful submissions of the year when she tapped out Kathina Catron.

    Just 12 seconds into the fight, Namajunas jumped on a flying armbar and had Catron tapping like there was no tomorrow. It has become her trademark move and earns her the second-best submission of the year. 

1. Josh Burkman Def. Jon Fitch Via Guillotine Choke

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    sherdog.com/Dave Mandel

    World Series of Fighting 3

    Jon Fitch was heavily hyped coming into his World Series of Fighting debut. He was among the top 10 in the world and recently cut from the UFC despite being a top fighter.

    Josh Burkman was supposed to be his sacrificial lamb.

    However, Burkman needed just 41 seconds to rock Fitch and secure a super-tight guillotine choke. Not only was the choke great because it earned him the win and put Fitch to sleep, but Burkman showed great sportsmanship by letting the hold go when the ref didn't realize Fitch was out.

    It was the best and most surprising submission of 2013.