8 Awesome Rear Naked Choke Finishes In MMA

Faster than you could say “goodnight”, once the rear naked choke is in deep, you’d better tap out. There’s no doubt that the rear naked choke is certainly one of the most devastating submissions around in MMA. If you practice BJJ, the rear naked choke is one of the first submissions you’ll learn in class. Don’t dismiss its simplicity – the rear naked choke has the potential to end a fight quickly, if applied correctly.

For a rear naked choke to be effective, you must have :

  • Both hooks or legs, wrapped around your opponent’s waist
  • Clear access to your opponent’s jugular vein
  • Ideally, your elbow must be directly under your opponent’s chin so you can apply pressure using both your bicep and forearm muscles
  • You must be able to hold the position for at least 10 seconds, counting slowly

Of course, in an MMA fight, having two or more of the steps above could prove to be difficult. Fortunately for these fighters, the BJJ gods seemed to be in their favor on the night of their fights. Today, Evolve Daily shares 8 Awesome Rear Naked Choke Finishes In MMA:

1) BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes I

In this fight, BJ Penn was still an up and coming welterweight while Matt Hughes was the reigning UFC Welterweight World Champion. Hughes was the fan favorite and was favored to win over Penn. Hughes was coming off an incredible winning streak and had the edge over Penn in size and strength. After standing up in Hughes’ guard and landing some devastating strikes, Penn went on to pass the guard and secure back control. In 4:39 of the 1st round, Penn did the unthinkable and submitted Hughes via rear naked choke.


2) Fedor Emelianenko vs Tim Sylvia

Before this fight, Emelianenko was busy fending off the critics, who claimed that Emelianenko had never faced any “worthy” opponents in the cage. They believed that this was the only reason Emelianenko was dominating the heavyweight division. However, 36 seconds into the first round, Emelianenko proved his critics wrong and submitted Sylvia with a rear naked choke.


3) Demian Maia vs Carlos Condit 

As one of the most decorated BJJ black belts in the UFC today, Demian Maia certainly has the submission skills to prove it. In this fight against Carlos Condit, Maia put on a BJJ clinic in UFC on Fox: Maia vs Condit, taking down Condit in 38 seconds. From here, Maia worked to get the back, put his hooks in and sink in the rear naked choke. There’s no doubt that this fight will put Maia next in line for the UFC Middleweight title shot.


4) Amanda Nunes vs Miesha Tate

After Ronda Rousey’s surprising departure as the UFC Women’s Bantamweight World Champion, the battle for the belt has never been more exciting. From Holly Holm to Miesha Tate, who had finished Holly Holm by rear naked choke, it seemed certain that WMMA veteran Miesha would defeat Nunes. Tate was coming off an incredible winning streak and it was inevitable that she would continue her reign. Nunes started the fight strong, landing heavy strikes on Tate. This took a toll on Tate, and her legs gave out. Unfortunately, 3:16 into the first round, Nunes was able to finish Tate with a rear naked choke.


5) Bruno Pucci vs Anthony Engelen

After a series of unfortunate injuries and a year and a half long hiatus, BJJ World Champion and ONE Superstar Bruno Pucci’s return to the ONE cage was much awaited by his fans. Eager to avenge his previous loss, Pucci certainly showed who was the better fighter that night. From the minute they touched gloves, Pucci dominated the fight with a series of takedowns and strikes. In the second round, Pucci continued to rain down punches on Engelen. Engelen appeared to be dazed from the strikes and it appeared as if Pucci took his back at will and finished the choke from there.


6) Marat Gafurov vs Rob Lisita

ONE: Roar Of The Tigers may have been ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov’s first fight in the ONE cage, but his M-1 Global experience and extensive grappling background was apparent that fateful night. Within 68 seconds, Gafurov managed to land a high kick which dropped Lisita instantly. He followed this with a barrage of punches that stunned Lisita. Taking full advantage of the situation, Gafurov then secured a body triangle and secured the rear naked choke.


7) Forrest Griffin vs Mauricio Shogun Rua I

This submission earned the Submission Of The Night award at UFC 76. Before this fight, Rua was touted as the best heavyweight fighter to date. As the Pride Middleweight Champion, Rua was expected to perform that night. The first round was very close: both fighters were scoring points against each other. Shogun was able to land takedowns and even cut Griffin on his forehead. The second round, however, revealed a completely different story. Griffin capitalized on Rua’s shortness of breath and kept on striking. In the third round, Griffin continued to strike and eventually landed the rear naked choke at 4:45 of the third round.


8) Angela Lee vs Mona Samir 

In her second fight in the ONE Championship cage, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee certainly cemented her status as a superstar. As soon as they touched gloves, both fighters were eager to get the fight going. Samir attempted to take Lee down, but Lee used her excellent grappling skills to stuff any takedown attempt. In the scramble, Lee tried to secure a triangle and continued her ground and pound from this position. Although Samir was able to defend the strikes and scramble out, Lee, managed to get back control and sink in the rear naked choke for the finish.


Whether it was achieved after a long battle or from a quick victory from a scramble, there’s no doubt that the rear naked choke is a submission that all MMA fighters should have in their arsenal. So tell us, which RNC finish is your favorite?

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