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The Most Vicious Submission Artist in Each UFC Division

Vince CareyContributor IDecember 1, 2011

The Most Vicious Submission Artist in Each UFC Division

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    For a lot of MMA fans, there's nothing more exciting than a fighter who can win the fight the second it hits the mat.

    The number of submission specialists has seemed to decrease with each passing year in the UFC, although it's unclear whether that's a result of fighters becoming more well-rounded or just better at recognizing when submissions are coming.

    The fighters on this list have no problems grabbing a hold of a neck or a limb and forcing their opponent to tap, making them not only a rare breed of fighter but a legitimate threat to anyone in the world due to their submission skills.

Heavyweight: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

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    Big Nog is one of the most beloved fighters in MMA history, not only for his ability to make any fight a great one, but also because he's dangerous no matter where the fight goes.

    Nogueira’s guard is legendary, having won over half of his career bouts by submission.

    Mark Coleman, Dan Henderson and Mirko Cro Cop have all fallen victim to Nogueira’s submission skills at some point, and he will look to earn another win when he fights fellow submission ace Frank Mir at UFC 140.

Light Heavyweight: Anthony Perosh

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    Admittedly, this division is probably the weakest in the UFC as far as submission specialists go, but Anthony Perosh is one of the best BJJ experts in the sport, having medaled in the World Championships twice in his career.

    Nine of his 12 wins have come by way of submission, including his last two wins inside the UFC, where both Tom Blackledge and Cyrille Diabate fell victim to his rear-naked choke.

Middleweight: Rousimar Palhares

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    While the light heavyweight division may not have a ton of talent in the BJJ department, the 185-lb class has two of the very best.

    It almost seems like a crime that Demian Maia isn’t on this list, but Rousimar Palhares has finished far more of his opponents recently.

    Three of his last four wins have come by a leg lock, and he legitimately scares fighters when he grabs a hold of one of their limbs.

Welterweight: Jake Shields

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    The former Strikeforce champion has been a little decision-happy over the last two years, but he's still one of the more dangerous fighters in the welterweight division.

    While his UFC stint hasn’t been very successful thus far, he still holds submission wins over Robbie Lawler and Paul Daley and has defeated Jon Fitch and Diego Sanchez in grappling competitions.

Lightweight: Joe Lauzon

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    If you look at this, it may seem like Lauzon is an odd choice, but his five Submission of the Night awards tell a different story.

    Lauzon has submitted everyone from Melvin Guillard to Jeremy Stephens in his UFC career and has posted 17 of his 21 career wins by tapout.

    Even more impressive is the diversity of submissions that Lauzon uses, winning fights by chokes, arm locks and leg locks alike.

Featherweight: Rani Yahya

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    He may not be as well known as some other fighters on this list, but Rani Yahya is one of the best pure grapplers in the sport.

    Yahya has won some of the most prestigious grappling tournaments in the world, including the 2007 ADCC championships, and has submitted his opponent in over 85 percent of his wins.

Bantamweight: Miguel Torres

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    Torres hasn’t submitted a ton of fighters recently, but there was a time that it was nearly impossible to escape a fight with Torres without tapping.

    Of his nearly 40 career victories, over half of them have come by way of submission, and his guard is so good that many people thought he should have won his UFC 130 fight against Demetrious Johnson off his back.

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