Gabe Killian Looks Back: UFC’s Top 10 Submissions of 2014

Luke RockholdThe 2014 UFC calendar year delivered 45 entertaining, action-packed fight cards, and with the 12 months of scraps now in our rear-view, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on my top 10 favorite submissions of last year. These are all my opinion, so feel free to voice your own in the comments below Here are my top 10 submissions which occurred inside the UFC’s Octagon in 2014: 10) Luke Rockhold’s guillotine choke over Michael Bisping (UFC Fight Night 55, Nov. 7) Rockhold made a statement by not only defeating Bisping, but by finishing him. After a closely contested first round, he caught the Brit with a nice, quick guillotine choke early in the second frame and got the tap for the submission victory. It was a beautiful finish by the former Strikeforce middleweight champion and good enough to crack this list. 9) Alex Caceres‘ rear naked choke against Sergio Pettis (UFC on FOX 10, Jan. 25) All it took was a split second of an opening in the third round for the underdog Caceres to sink in a rear naked choke, which gave his opponent Pettis no choice but to tap, succumbing to the first defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career. The submission itself was nice, but the fact that it was an underdog submitting a highly touted undefeated prospect makes it that much more impressive. 8) Anthony Pettis‘ guillotine choke over Gilbert Melendez (UFC 181, Dec. 6) After losing the first round, Pettis caught Melendez with a slick guillotine choke in the second frame and secured the tap, successfully defending his UFC lightweight championship title for the first time. The fact that Melendez was winning the fight and is very tough to finish makes this submission really stand out. 7) Oleksiy Oliynyk’s neck crank against Anthony Hamilton (UFC Fight Night 44, June 28) Oliynyk made quick work of Hamilton in his promotional debut, defeating him via neck crank submission in the first round of action. It was an impressive debut for Oliynyk, with what I thought was a beautiful submission. 6) Louis Gaudinot’s jumping guillotine choke over Phil Harris (UFC Fight Night 37, March 8) Gaudinot caught Harris with his signature guillotine choke early in the first round of this flyweight bout and forced the Brit to tap. It was a beautiful finish and solid outing by the New Jersey native, who unfortunately failed his post-fight drug test and ultimately had his win turned into a No Contest. 5) Luke Rockhold’s inverted triangle Kimura against Tim Boetsch (UFC 172, April 26) Not only did Rockhold crack the top 10, but also the top 5 with this phenomenally improvised first round submission of Tim Boetsch, officially dubbed as an ‘inverted triangle kimura.’ 4) Ovince St. Preux’s Von Flue choke over Nikita Krylov (UFC 171, March 15) When OSP went for a takedown early on in the first round of their bout, Krylov made the mistake of going for a guillotine choke and holding on to it for too long, as OSP moved into side control and countered with a rare Von Flue choke to put the Ukrainian to sleep. 3) Ben Saunders’ omaplata against Chris Heatherly (UFC Fight Night 49, Aug. 23) Another rare submission, and an even more impressive one came by Saunders in his return to the Octagon, where he scored the first ever omoplata submission victory in UFC history by forcing the promotional newcomer Heatherly to tap in the very first round of action. It was a great outing for Saunders, and the picture perfect way for him to make his return. 2) Mitch Clarke’s D’Arce choke from bottom over Al Iaquinta (UFC 173. May 24) Not only was this submission beautiful and very impressive, but it was done so in comeback fashion by a very large underdog in Clarke, who was badly losing the fight up until the point of catching Iaquinta with the choke in the second frame. Iaquinta tried to defend but was unsuccessful, soon turning blue and going into a deep sleep, ultimately suffering his second Octagon defeat. What really made this impressive was the fact that Clarke pulled this submission off from his back, a position no one has ever choked someone out before via D’Arce choke in UFC history. Out of all the submissions in 2014, this is the one I had to rewind and watch the most. 1) Joseph Benavidez’s mounted guillotine choke against Tim Elliott (UFC 172, April 26) This was without a doubt the greatest submission I saw all year, and I found it to be incredibly entertaining. Calling it the “Joeaconstrictor”, Benavidez had Elliott’s arms trapped with his legs during a guillotine choke. Not only was it a brilliant submission, but it was also a humorous one, as it brought laughter to everybody I was watching the fight with as Elliott was forced to tap with his feet before going to sleep.

Written by Gabe Killian

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