There are a lot of lists out there of the top submissions in MMA. But most of these lists are compiled by UFC fans who have never even stepped on the mats in their life. They have no conception of difficulty as well as what should be considered ‘cool’ by practitioners. Below is a list based on technical difficulty, which is what really makes them cool to us, not to mention the aesthetic value. Below are some submissions we have seen over the years in MMA that you would expect from comic book superheroes – especially spider-man.
As you all know, there are many techniques that do not have fixed names in jiu-jitsu. So for the sake of description, I’ve named this technique the ‘snapping armbar’ because of the speed required to execute it.
For most of the fight, Aoki put pressure, always closing the distance and looking for a takedown. At the two-minute mark, Wisniewski made the mistake of loosely over-hooking Aoki’s arm and allowing Aoki to control it at the wrist. What this did was place Wisniewski’s elbow on Aoki’s ribs, giving Aoki the timing to twist his body and snap the arm at the elbow. You can hear a loud ‘crack!’ and Keith verbally taps from pain.
Eddie Bravo had always dreamed of seeing ‘The Twister’ done in an MMA match, a technique that he popularized and sharpened specifically for no-gi wrestling in hopes of it becoming excepted by people for street defense.
This dream became a reality when Chan Sung Jung, The Korean Zombie, executed this technique on Leonard Garcia in the UFC. The twister itself is not a particularly difficult technique to pull-off in no-gi or even gi, but in MMA, everything becomes harder to achieve because of the striking. So for The Zombie to pull this off, it took a lot of practice – which he admitted he did in many interviews.
A lot of people argue that if you pull off very unorthodox techniques in MMA, it’s probably because your opponent is not very savvy. Well, sure, that is true depending on the situation, however in this situation, this was not really the case. Joachim Hansen, although not traditionally trained in BJJ, is an avid grappler who had competed in many submission wrestling competitions, including the ADCC. However, because of Shinya’s sheer talent and flexibility, he was able to pull this off quite skillfully.
Now this is a match that you don’t have to be a longtime MMA fan to know. The UFC has shown this moment many times over since it is easily Silva’s most embarrassing loss of all time.
To be brief, Silva was slowly breaking down Chonan with strikes and he really had very little to do except surprise Silva with a perfectly executed heelhook entry. Silva got caught on the instep of a punch and set himself up for this breakdance-like submission. Without a doubt this was Chonan’s greatest career achievement.
This is the technique that set the bar for ‘fancy’ for us all. RuminaSato appeared to have wings for many of his early Shooto matches. To this day, you won’t see anything like this in a ring or an octagon. Granted, this was in the earlier days of MMA, the level of understanding for most fighters was quite low, however, just the sheer athleticism required to execute this technique, especially on a resisting opponent still leaves us awestruck.