In the sport of MMA, submissions are a thing of beauty. They are products of the technical aspect of fighting, brought about by an athlete’s years of training in the grappling arts. Furthermore, they can come seemingly out of nowhere.
When executed properly, submissions are absolute marvels.
Throughout the course of MMA history, great fighters have put together some amazing submission victories. Us fans are left wondering just how exactly these incredible individuals pulled these moves off.
Let’s take a quick look at these awesome maneuvers and the mixed martial artists who performed them. Today, Evolve Daily shares five of the most incredible submissions in MMA history.
1) Ronda Rousey Collects Cat Zingano’s Arm in Record Time
For a period of time, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey was known as the alpha-female of the mixed martial arts scene. She went undefeated in 12 bouts to start her career, winning three by knockout and a whopping nine by submission. She earned the nickname “The Arm Collector” due to a string of victories where she finished eight straight opponents via armbar.
On the way, Rousey captured the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship for her efforts and was the most popular mixed martial artist in the world.
In 2015, when Rousey met wrestler Cat Zingano, the American judoka recorded the fastest submission finish in a UFC women’s bantamweight title bout. Zingano stormed out of the gates with a flying knee, but Rousey was able to catch it and bring the action into a scramble (which she was great at). Rousey swiftly transitioned into a straight armbar and forced the tap.
The official time of the finish was 14 seconds into round number one.
2) Angela Lee Twisters Natalie Gonzales Hills
At this point in her career, “Unstoppable” Angela Lee from the Evolve Fight Team had already built quite a reputation as an atomweight grappling queen. Her mat skills were leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. But it wasn’t until Lee locked in an ultra-rare submission maneuver that fans realized just how dangerous on the ground she was.
Lee faced Filipino-English fighter Natalie Gonzales Hills in 2015, in just her third bout for ONE Championship and she pulled off the enigmatic “Twister” submission. First of all, the Twister is a very hard move to pull off because you and your opponent have to be in the right place at the right time. Secondly, the setup has to be subtle, so the completion isn’t telegraphed.
Lee masterfully put this sequence together and forced the tap. ONE Championship fans were introduced to one of the most amazing submission moves ever.
3) Fabricio Werdum’s Triangle Submission Of Fedor Emelianenko
Mixed martial arts and grappling legend Fabricio Werdum shocked the world when he dealt legend Fedor Emelianenko his first defeat in 10 years when the two went head-to-head in a Strikeforce/M1 Global card in 2010.
The fight was interesting to say the least, as Emelianenko was at the time thought to be virtually unbeatable. But if there’s one thing Werdum has taught us throughout his career, it’s that he’s dangerous in every situation and you really can’t let your guard down.
Although Emelianenko dropped Werdum early in the contest, the Brazilian was able to recover quite nicely, at least enough to put together some attacks on the grappling front. When “The Last Emperor” followed Werdum to the ground ill-advised, it was only a matter of time before he got caught in some sort of submission.
Werdum quickly locked in a triangle armbar, and the rest was history. To this day, Werdum’s submission of Emelianenko is widely considered one of the most significant submissions in MMA history.
4) Anderson Silva’s Triangle Hail Mary Over Chael Sonnen
For all intents and purposes, Anderson Silva may be the greatest striker in the history of mixed martial arts. In the Spider’s prime, he was an absolute force to be reckoned with. He toyed with his opponents, made them look like amateurs, before punishing them with pinpoint accurate combinations.
When Silva first took on American wrestler Chael Sonnen in 2010, the Brazilian dynamo was expected to put together another dominant performance. It was completely the opposite. Sonnen used his wrestling to outmaneuver Silva from beginning to end. No one had ever manhandled Silva the way Sonnen did in his career.
But in the final round, in the fight’s final moments, Silva slapped on a triangle from out of nowhere, yanked Sonnen’s arm, and forced the tap. Silva’s performance here could be likened to Michael Jordan’s infamous flu game or Kobe Bryant’s clutch dagger against the Spurs in the 2008 playoffs.
5) Shinya Aoki’s Gogoplata On Katsuhiko Nagata
Another rare submission maneuver which only a handful of fighters in MMA have been able to pull off is the Gogoplata. And who better to show us how it’s done than the legendary Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki from the Evolve Fight Team.
Aoki took on countryman Katsuhiko Nagata in 2008 and executed the move with added finesse. In mount position, the Grandmaster of Flying Submissions masterfully worked to put on the Gogoplata, using his extremely flexible limbs, and Nagata had no choice but to tap or take a nap.
This is just one of several highlight-reel submission wins scattered throughout Aoki’s legendary career. But it is certainly one of the MMA Legend’s finest moments.
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