MMA's Most Unbelievable Submissions: The Top Ten

Kevin CurranSenior Analyst IJuly 26, 2008

In the wake of the Peruvian Necktie that we all witnessed at UFC Fight Night, I thought it would be a good time to have a rundown of the rarest and strangest submissions in MMA history.

From the Portuguese to Peruvian, there's a lot of painful holds out there, but some new ones are starting to come out of the woodwork.


10. The Gi Choke                                                                                             

Let's start off with those crazy gi-wearing MMA purists. We've seen these foil so many a fight, like when Wandy knocked out Kaz Nakamura when he took off his gi. This time, Yoshihiro Akiyama used his opponent's gi to choke him out. I'll call that a wardrobe malfunction.



Maybe a year or two years ago, this would have cracked the top five, but nowadays, it's becoming more and more common. This was most famously used in the Diaz vs.. Gomi fight where Diaz submitted Gomi with this feat of flexibility.


8. Bulldog Choke                                                                                           

This choke was used by Carlos Newton to submit Pat Militech at UFC 31. This has been seen also when Chris Lytle performed it on Tiki Ghosn. This submission is a lot like a guillotine choke, but instead of facing the opponent and locking it up in a guard, you have your back to the opponent in a headlock style position and then apply pressure.


7. Flying Triangle Choke                                                                                  

This one isn't as rare as it is flashy, but it is flashy. This one is famous because it was used by the ever-exciting Shinya Aoki. This is really on here because it is so quick and unexpected


6. Brabo Choke                                                                                                

This is a well-known BJJ hold, but is rare in MMA. K-1 vet Rani Yahya used it on Kazuya Yasuhiro at K-1 Hero's Six. This move is executed from a half guard when a fighter snakes his arm under the arm of an opponent and uses the other arm to clasp it on the other side. The arm under his opponent's arm and neck and traps his arm while choking him leaving him no other option but to tap.


5. Calf Slicer                                                                                                

This one I had never heard of until researching the rarest of the rare in submissions. This move was pulled by Rumina Sato at a shooto event in his first fight, all the way back in 1994. Oh yeah, I'm talkin' old school. Also Joe Lauzon fell victim to it at the hands of Ivan Menjivar.

This move is a so called "compression lock". This happens when a muscle is cranked down against a bone and it causes pain in that specific muscle. There can be a slicer on any muscle really, like the bicep. You may hear thigh crusher also, this works on the same principle.


4. Cobra Hold                                                                                    

Dokonjonosuke Mishima is famous for his innovative style and his really long name. He throws cartwheel kicks, spinning backfists, anything you can imagine, and he has 13 letters in his first name!

He left his mark especially though when he caught Justin Wisniewski with this dazzler. This move is performed by clutching the head and then pulling the foot toward the head from a side mount. This puts pressure on the knee causing agonizing pain. OUCH!


3. Peruvian Necktie                                                                                       

Yes, this may be a rush to name it one of the craziest of all time, but seriously, before that, when did you ever see it in pro competition. CB Dolloway is bringing something new to the table, and I, for one, am excited to see this new weapon in battle.


2. Flying Scissor Heel Hook                                                                             

How could anyone for get this gem? Ryo Chonan's crowning achievement, he submits Anderson Silva, today's best, with a last-second flying heel hook that seems immediately deep. WOW. That's all I have to say.


1. The Grapevine?                                                                                        

Yes, the most infamous submission of all time. Art Jimmerson came to UFC 1 wearing but one boxing glove to take on the great Royce Gracie. Poor guy. In a funny twist of events, famous ref Big John McCarthy told Jimmerson that if he felt any pain that he had the option to tap.

This boxer, bewildered by the takedown and mount Royce quickly established, tapped out. Rorion Gracie furious yelled at people in management about having Jimmerson there, saying he tapped to nothing. Big John discreetly made his way out of the room.

So, in the end, Royce takes the cake with what you might call an intimidation tap. Wow, MMA is a strange sport ain't it?