Say Uncle: The Top 12 MMA Submissions of All Time
The submission. To make your opponent give up, say uncle: forfeit.
It may not make the highlights as often as a knock-ut, but it should. These BJJ stars are some of the top dogs in the MMA industry of today and the recent past.
Many fights could end quickly and painfully if techniques are applied correctly, bones could be broken and fighters could be left sleeping on the canvas.
Submissions—done properly—are a beautiful thing. Listed below are the top 12 Submissions of all time, performed with flawless execution. Inside the text of each one is a word or words linked to a video.
Toby Imada vs. Jorge Masvidal (Bellator V)
Toby Imada proved being down doesn't mean you are out. A beautiful come-from-behind victory via inverted triangle choke, from standing to choke Jorge Masvidal unconscious.
Antonio Nogueria vs. Heath Herring (Pride FC Critical Countdown 2004)
Heath Herring tapped out for the first and only time in his career when he was caught in a perfect anaconda choke by Big Nog. This wasn't the first submission attempt of this match, as Nogueria had tried to apply several armbars and triangles but all of them came up short. When he rolled into this deep choke, Heath had no choice but to tap his way into a highlight-reel finish.
Ryo Chonnan vs. Anderson Silva (Pride FC Shockwave 2004)
Anderson Silva took his second loss due to a submission, his first due to a Flying Scissor Heel Hook, which made Ryo instantly famous for getting the elusive Brazilian to tap out.
When all else fails, dive for a leg and yank on that ankle as hard as possible, its better than trying to strike with him. Maybe Ryo should have shown Forrest this move.
Shinya Aoki vs. Katsuhiko Nagata ((Pride FC Shockwave 2006)
The Aokiplata: not very often do we get to see a fighter with his own submission. Better yet, in this case we get to see it displayed beautifully in competition. From top mount, place foot on throat, pull up on back of head, until fighter taps or goes to sleep.
Nate Diaz vs. Kurt Pellegrino (UFC Fight Night 13)
This is one of my favorites, as Nate was an underdog and Kurt had the grappling history.
Earlier in the fight, Nate tried to land a kimoura but Kurt escaped and wagged his finger to the crowd.
Then, as soon as Nate locks his legs up for the triangle he raised his hands, flipped off the ground and flex. Kurt tapped.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Mark Coleman (Pride FC Total Elimination 2004)
Fedor, Fedor, Fedor. Does anyone have a more beautiful or painful armbar, or used it so often with such success?
Here we see Fedor beat Coleman for the first time via armbar, only to be duplicated shortly thereafter.
There is nothing more painful than getting your arm yanked the complete opposite way it's designed for, with all the force a fighter can muster.
Dustin Hazelett vs. Josh Burkman (Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale)
Dustin Hazelett is a young fighter and a BJJ blackbelt under Jorge Gurgel. This fight saw him pull off a beautiful armbar against Josh Burkman to win Submission of the Night.
This submission was also voted by ESPN as Submission of the Year, and they could be right. Josh went to try and use a whizzer to get Dustin to the ground, but Dustin countered it by stepping over Josh (similar to a flying armbar) and rolling into a perfectly placed armbar. Josh was forfced to tap.
Frank Mir vs. Tim Sylvia (UFC 48)
This fight is notorious for several reasons. First, it stripped Tim of his heavyweight belt and crowned Mir the new champ. Second, it snapped Tim's arm in half, forcing Herb Dean to stop the fight.
Tim didn't tap and tried to dispute the call, only to realize his arm was broken in several places and he would need surgery. A couple weeks later, he would also strike out on Blind Date.
Rumino Sato vs. Charles Taylor
For lack of a better word, WOW. This is one of the quickest and craziest submissions to grace the MMA world. A flying armbar seconds into the first round became a YouTube classic, even though it predates the video service as it took place in 1999.
Don't blink, you might miss it.
Jeremy Horn vs Chael Sonnen (UFC 60)
Jeremy Horn finished Sonnen with a new variation of an armbar that isn't seen on a day-to-day basis. It's almost a triangle in front of Chael's head, with his arm being extended.
Chael was forced to tap—well, scream—until the fight stopped.
Horn is also responsible for choking Chuck Liddell unconscious and finishing 49 of his 81 wins via submission. However many there may be, this one goes down as his prettiest.
Alexander Otsuka vs Mike Bourke (Pride FC 11)
If you thought an armbar was painful enough, Mike Bourke would be the first to disagree. He was forced to verbally scream to the referee to tap due to a double armbar.
A submission like this doesn't come around too often as one arm is usually enough to make your opponent tap. But hey, wanna make them pay? Two is always better than one.
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie (Pride FC 10)
Sakuraba: "The Gracie Killer," or at least the Gracie arm breaker.
Renzo almost looked like he was in disbelief as Sakuraba told the sideline referee his arm broke.
He had already beaten Royler and Royce, of course not in this fashion, but he would also go on to beat Ryan as well.
The Gracie killer definitely lived up to his name in this fight, laying one of the nastiest kimouras in the history of MMA.