Gabe Killian’s Top 10 Submissions of 2015

Sarah-KaufmanThe 2015 UFC calendar year delivered 44 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 favorites of the year. These are all my opinion, so feel free to voice your own in the comments below. Here are my top 10 submissions which occured inside the UFC’s Octagon in 2015: 10) Aljamain Sterling’s’ inverted arm triangle choke of veteran Takeya Mizugaki. (UFC on FOX 15, Apr. 18) Sterling was faced with the stiffest test of his undefeated professional mixed martial arts career and passed it with flying colors by dominating the Japanese veteran for the entirety of the contest, ultimately submitting him with an inverted arm triangle in the third and final round of action. It was an excellent submission and the fact that Mizugaki is very tough to submit makes it an even more impressive feat. It marked the first time he has been submitted in the UFC and the second time in his career; the first coming against Uriah Faber under the WEC banner in 2010. 9) Jake Ellenberger’s gruesome north-south choke of Josh Koshckeck. (UFC 184, Feb. 28) Ellenberger snapped a three fight losing skid by submitting TUF 1 veteran Josh Koscheck in the second round of their bout. Koscheck left his neck open during a takedown attempt and Ellenberger capitalized on it by securing a power guillotine choke. When Koscheck attempted to roll out of the choke, they ended up in a north-south choke, and giving every last effort he had, he forcefully tapped as he foamed from the mouth. 8) Patrick Williams’ first round guillotine choke technical submission of Alejandro Perez. (UFC 188, June 13) This fight did not get a chance to get going, as Williams was quick to secure a guillotine choke right out of the gate, putting the Mexican to sleep and earning his first victory inside the UFC’s Octagon. It was an impressive finish and made people forget about his promotional debut, where he was knocked out by a Chris Beal flying knee, which made my top 10 knockouts of 2014. 7) Chas Skelly’s come from behind rear naked choke submission of Kevin Souza. (UFC Fight Night 77, Nov. 7) Skelly was getting soundly outstruck by Souza in a one-sided battle and appeared to be on his way towards a T/KO defeat, however he quickly turned the tides by capitalizing on an error by the Brazilian and immediately taking his back to sink in the rear naked choke for the tap. 6) Keita Nakamura’s amazing come from behind standing rear naked choke of Li Jingliang. (UFC 185, Mar. 14) Jingliang was dominating Nakamura for the entirety of this bout, but when he saw a split second of an opening, Nakamura quickly took Jingliang’s back and sunk in a standing rear naked choke. Jingliang refused to tap and tried to fight out of the job, eventually falling face first into unconsciousness, giving Nakamura the victory by technical submission. It was a big, come from behind victory for the Japanese fighter, who really pulled a rabbit out of his hat. 5) Rose Namajunas’ fifth round rear naked choke of Paige VanZant. (UFC Fight Night 80, Dec. 10) “Thug” was the betting underdog heading into her five round main event contest against the much hyped Paige VanZant and dominated her for all five rounds of action, attempting multiple submissions in every round until securing a rear naked choke to earn the tap in the fifth and final round. Namajunas knew she was easily moments away from a one-sided clear-cut unanimous decision victory, but she kept looking for the finish to put a stamp on her performance. She did not eagerly chase after it and instead allowed it to come to her, which it eventually did and she capitalized to earn the tap for the win, her second straight inside the Octagon. 4) Warlley Alves’ first round guilotine choke submission of undefeated Colby Covington. (UFC 194, Dec. 12) The TUF: Brazil 2 winner made quick work of Covington by catching him with his famed guillotine during a takedown attempt and earning the tap. This was a battle of undefeated welterweights and someone’s O had to go. Alves has one of the best guillotine chokes in the game and it was a thing of beauty to watch, even though I personally felt my wallet take a big hit, as I was backing Covington in this match-up, thinking he would be able to outwrestle Alves and avoid his guillotine. 3) Demetrious Johnson’s last-second armbar submission of Kyoji Horiguchi. (UFC 191, Sept. 5) “Mighty Mouse” did not stop looking for the finish against Horiguchi and ultimately secured an armbar with seconds remaining in the fifth and final round of action, earning the tap with just one second remaining and setting the record for the latest finish in UFC history. 2) Ben Rothwell’s surprise come from behind front-choke submission of Matt Mitrione. (UFC Fight Night 68, Jun. 6) Mitrione was getting the better of “Big Ben” on the feet and could too cocky. He attempted a takedown that Rothwell successfully defended and immediately countered with a front-choke to earn a sudden two-hand tap from Mitrione. He made one little mistake and it cost him big, as Ben was able to quickly capitalize and get his hand raised. It was a front-choke like I have never seen before and Mitrione appeared to instantly be in a tremendous amount of pain from it. He immediately tapped with both hands, which is especially fascinating because he is someone who opted to go to sleep rather than tap out the last time he was in a choke, so that speaks volumes as to how much pain he was in. 1) Ronda Rousey’s 14-second modified armbar submission of Cat Zingano. (UFC 184, Feb. 28) Zingano made a huge error by rushing Rousey right out of the gate and attempting a flying knee, as Rousey was quick to react and counter by taking her down and securing a modified armbar submission to earn the quick tap. Looking at the film, the tap comes at 0:11, but officially, she won the fight in 0:14. This submission makes the top of my list because not only was it the quickest armbar submission in UFC history, but it was also a version of the armbar I had never seen before. “Rowdy” has many aces up her sleeve and we witnessed her pull one out against Zingano.

Written by Gabe Killian

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