The Highly Unofficial Half-Year awards season continues with the best submissions of 2013 thus far...
UFC 157 - Robertson submits Jardine" title="UFC 157 - Robertson submits Jardine" style="width: 300px;" src="https://ufc-video.s3.amazonaws.com/image/photo_galleries/03/ufc157_03_robertson_vs_jardine_003.jpg" align="left">With another six months in the books, capped off by the record number of submissions turned in during this month’s UFC on FX 8 card in Brazil, it’s been a good year so far for those practiced in the art of the tap out. But which finishes stood out from the rest? Read on to find out.
5 - Urijah Faber’s Double Whammy - UFC 157 (watch event)
For years, former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber was so closely associated with the guillotine choke that his Team Alpha Male squad in Sacramento was often dubbed Team Guillotine. But in 2013, “The California Kid” not only fought, won, and finished twice, defeating ultra-tough vets Ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen, but he ended the night both times with a rear naked choke, showing that wherever he gets your neck, it’s usually going to be lights out seconds later.
4 – Antonio Braga Neto-Anthony Smith - UFC on FUEL TV 10 (watch event - Nogueira vs. Werdum replay schedule on FUEL TV in US)
Antonio Braga Neto didn’t make his UFC debut in June without more than a few grappling accolades preceding him. In fact, for jiu-jitsu aficionados, his first Octagon bout was a big deal. And while Strikeforce vet Anthony Smith respected Neto’s game, he figured he had already faced the best jiu-jitsu practitioner in the game in Roger Gracie, so what could possibly go wrong? Well, just watch the end sequence of their fight again and try not to wince when Neto locks on the fight ending kneebar. As beautiful as jiu-jitsu can be, it can also be devastatingly effective. This fight proved it.
3 – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza-Chris Camozzi - UFC on FUEL TV 10 (watch event - Nogueira vs. Werdum replay schedule on FUEL TV in US)
Outside of perhaps the aforementioned Roger Gracie and welterweight contender Demian Maia, few have garnered the respect former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has for his world-class ground game. And though he’s shown marked improvement in his standup attack in recent fights, it was that jiu-jitsu that ended his first UFC bout, namely an arm triangle choke that put Chris Camozzi to sleep almost as soon as it was locked in. That’s technique, that’s power, and that’s scary if you’re a middleweight who has to fight him.
2 - Ronda Rousey-Liz Carmouche - UFC 157 (watch event)
Ever since Ronda Rousey turned pro, every opponent she faced knew that they were going to have to deal with an armbar attempt sooner or later, usually sooner. Liz Carmouche was no different, and part of her preparation for the UFC 157 bout against the women’s bantamweight champ involved defending random armbar attempts by her teammates at every possible moment. Yet when Rousey made her move on Carmouche after surviving a rear naked choke attempt moments earlier, the Marine Corps veteran got caught and finished by the armbar. Seven pro fights, seven wins by armbar, all in the first round. If there’s a better finishing move in all of combat sports, I’d like to know about it.
1 – Kenny Robertson-Brock Jardine - UFC 157 (watch event)
The move Kenny Robertson used to get his first UFC win in February didn’t even have a name. Joe Rogan called it a form of leglock, it’s listed as a kneebar on the online fight databases, and while both are correct, it was a move never pulled off in the UFC the way the former Eastern Illinois University wrestler did on Brock Jardine. Suffice to say that it was one of the most painful looking submissions ever, and as far as descriptions go, let’s stick with Robertson’s own name for it: The Kickstand.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Bader-Vladimir Matyushenko, Bobby Green-Jacob Volkmann, Renan Barao-Michael McDonald, Reza Madadi-Michael Johnson, Tom Lawlor-Michael Kuiper, Fabricio Werdum-Minotauro Nogueira, James Krause-Sam Stout