(FanPost edited and promoted by MMAmania.com)
The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) continues to show signs of growth year after year. With that comes more fights, fighters and spectacular finishes.
2011 has been the most active year of MMA in history with multiple cards happening every weekend and more UFC and Strikeforce shows than any previous year. It has already been a year packed with spectacular submission finishes.
Chan Sung Jung made UFC history by being the first person to submit an opponent with a Twister. This made the #1 spot on UFC.com's list of Top 5 Submission Victories. So that got me thinking. What have been the top submission wins outside of the UFC?
Here's what I think are the four best:
Liz Carmouche was given just two weeks notice that she would be fighting Marloes Coenen for the Strikeforce's Womens 135-Pound Title. Carmouche may have only been given two weeks, but she fought like a woman on a mission. The first round was a fairly competitive round but Carmouche gave Coenen an absolutely beatdown in rounds two and three. In round two, Carmouche locked in a very tight guillotine and went all the way to the ground with it. Coenen fought thru and escaped but Carmouche gained top position and gave Coenen a heavy dose of solid ground and pound. It seemed the Carmouche was on her way to scoring a huge upset over the champion. That is, until Round four. After taking more abuse from Carmouche, Coenen threw on a beautiful triangle choke from her back. It was tight and after a brief struggle, Carmouche had no other option but to tap. It was reminiscent of Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen. A great technical submission and one of the biggest comeback victories of the year.
Vinny Magalhaes has had some impressive submission wins in his career. When he came on my radar during the TUF 8 season, I knew this was a guy to keep my eye out for. Magalhaes would face Viktor Nemkov for the vacant M-1 Light Heavyweight Title at M-1 Challenge 25. The fight seemed to be a story of two wills. Nemkov made every effort to keep the fight standing while Vinny did his best to get the action to the mat. There were multiple times during the first two rounds that the fight ended up on the mat and Magalhaes appeared to have a submission locked in but Nemkov escaped. There were even some points were it appeared that Magalhaes was giving up on submissions after seemingly having them locked in. In an exclusive interview, Magalhaes revealed that he was struggling with Staph infection prior to the fight which had his body draining quicker than usual. Despite his waning cardio, Magalhaes was finally able to achieve mount in the third round and finished with a spectacular neck crank / gogoplata that had the crowd and announcers in awe. It was a great testament to jiu jitsu's effectiveness, even when someone is winded. Proper technique is always effective, no matter how tired you are. A rare and shocking come from behind submission victory easily makes this number three.
After winning the Bellator lightweight tournament, Curran suffered a loss to one of the best 155-pounders outside of the UFC, Eddie Alvarez. Post the Alvarez fight, Curran decided to drop back down to 145 to make a run at the featherweight title. The first man standing in his way would be Luis Palomino at BFC 46. Curran didn't just win the bout, he made a statement. He used a great mixture of striking and wrestling to dominate Palomino for the duration of the bout. The end finally came in just the third minute of the opening round. Curran and Palomino transitioned to sprawl position and when Palomino stalled in that position momentarily, Curran took full advantage. Curran quickly jumped into a Peruvian Necktie and locked it in tight before Luis could fend it off. Palomino, a Peruvian, was forced to tap to one of my favorite submissions, the Peruvian Necktie. Curran is looking to make Bellator history by becoming the first fighter to win tournaments in different weight divisions and he caught everyone's attention with his fight and finish against Palomino.
Fekete came into the Bellator Light Heavyweight tournament as an odds on favorite. There was a lot of hype surrounding him and it appeared the Hale was just a stepping stone on Fekete's way to the finals. In the quarter final match-up between the two, Richard "Rare Breed" Hale made it known that he's not a stepping stone for anybody. The Rare Breed scored one of the rarest finishes in MMA. In 2010, Toby Imada got "Submission of the Year" honors by submitting Jorge Masvidal at Bellator 5 with an inverted triangle. Imada's triangle crumpled Masvidal and had everyone reeling at what they had just seen. Bellator may have found 2011's front runner for submission of the year with another inverted triangle. This time courtesy of Richard Hale.
Fekete attempts to pick Hale up to secure the takedown, but during the transition, Hale catches Fekete in an inverted triangle. Hale does a tremendous job of staying balanced and remaining calm enough to perform the proper technique during the scramble. Hale tightens it up and works a few punches before Fekete goes limp, forcing the ref to jump in and save him. Another year and another inverted triangle for Bellator Fighting Championships. The UFC's, Chan Sung Jung appears to be the front runner for submission of the year but Hale might score the upset victory and emerge as the second straight inverted triangle "Submission of the Year" winner.
Full highlights from the fight and multiple angles of the finish below:
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