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Choke Artists: UFC’s Best Submissions

Niala Samnarine

By Niala Samnarine

March 20, 2014

If you’re like us you’re still recovering from UFC™ 171. Fight night in Dallas was chock full of memorable fights and delivered above and beyond on everything it promised.

One of the most impressive performances of the night came via Ovince Saint Preux. OSP opened the main fight card in extraordinary fashion, finishing off his opponent Nikita Krylov just 1:29 into the first round. Even more extraordinary was his method!

OSP jostled for position to get Krylov into what we thought was a guillotine choke, then he masterfully turned it into the Von Flue choke. If you’re like me, you’d never heard of that move until UFC™ 171, that’s because this is a highly effective and rarely used submission. OSP used it to perfection against ‘Al Capone’ to choke him to unconsciousness and earn the victory via submission.

So what other submissions are there in the world of MMA? Lots! Here we pulled together our list of the best five submissions in recent UFC history.

Jon Jones over Machida

At UFC™ 166 the light heavyweight champ had a battle on his hands against Lyoto Machida. Well into the 2nd round, both fighters were trying to gain position when Bones pinned Machida up against the cage and before most people knew what was happening, had him in a standing guillotine. The ref called it and when Bones retreated, Machida flopped to the floor. Check out the submission yourself:


See Jones defend his title at UFC™ 172 in Baltimore>>

See Machida face the Chris Weidman for the championship at UFC™ 173 in Vegas>>

Silva over Sonnen

In another battle, as the first of a two part Silva vs Sonnen saga, this one saw Anderson Silva emerge on top. Silva and Sonnen slugged and grappled it out for the greater part of five rounds, then Silva was able to gain the upper hand and catch Sonnen in a triangle armbar to make him tap out. It earned submission of the year status and is still touted as one of the best submissions in MMA to date.

Part of the lore of this submission, is that these men already put everything out there in the four and a half rounds prior, and somehow The Spider was still able to pull out this amazing submission.

Rousimar Palhares Heel Hook

A great UFC fighter surrounded by much controversy around the length of time he continues to apply a submission after an opponent taps, Palhares makes our list for his exceptional execution of the heel hook.

Palhares is known for his leg locks and is considered one of the best in the world at the heel hook and kneebar. In his 11 submissions in MMA, seven have come by way of his heel hook. Do yourself a favor and youtube one of these videos so you can witness first hand how effective they are.

Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey Flying Armbar

‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey has entered the UFC with a bang, and has established herself as an armbar expert. One of her most impressive submissions via armbar came before she joined the UFC and was a member of Strikeforce. In her match against Sarah D’Alelio the match was stopped at the 25 second mark after Rousey used a variation of the flying armbar to submit her.

Is this Rousey’s most impressive armbar to you? Which would you rank ahead of this one?

Charles Oliveira Calf Slicer vs. Eric Wisely

Talk about making a grand debut. Oliveira had his first match in the UFC against fellow featherweight Eric Wisely. After grappling for position in the first round, Oliveira applied a beautiful calf slicer that forced Wisely to tap out.

Check out the move here >>

Honorable Mention: Frank Mir vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

UFC™ 140 produced two great submissions that made our list, the Jones/Machida submission and this bone-breaking TKO by Mir over Noguiera.

In a prior match, Mir prevailed over Noguiera surrounding rumors that Minotauro was not himself. At UFC™ 140, Mir hoped to put those rumors to rest as he put Nogueira’s right arm into a kimura lock. Nogueira only tapped after Mir broke his arm. WHOA. (Do yourself a favor and youtube it. Disclaimer: not for the faint of heart)

What did you think of our list? Did we miss any of your favorite submissions? Leave them in the comments telling us why it should’ve been on the list.

See the Submissions Live

Whether you’re looking to see Bones submit Texeira, Machida submit Chris Weidman or any of your other favorites, look no further.

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