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Tap or snap: The five best (and grossest) arm breaking submissions in MMA history

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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira stares at his broken arm following Frank Mir's bone crunching submission at UFC 140 on Dec. 10, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira stares at his broken arm following Frank Mir's bone crunching submission at UFC 140 on Dec. 10, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Oh, Ronda Rousey. Your beauty is only exceeded by your toughness.

She won the 135-pound title from Miesha Tate last night (Sat., March 3, 2012) in the main event of Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" after snapping the Team Alpha Male product's arm in two. It's not like the result was altogether unforeseen. "Rowdy" had four wins going into the bout and all came thanks to her trademark submission. Plus, she straight out said that's what she was going to do, which made it all the more impressive when she actually did it!

That's like Dirk Nowitzki, after sinking four straight three-pointers, dribbling down court and telling an opposing player he was going to make another one and there would be nothing he could do about it. Except in the NBA, the Mavericks would only add a few more points to their score. In mixed martial arts (MMA), Tate is getting fitted for a cast and out of work for a few months.

Rousey wasn't the first to snap an arm in two in competition and she probably won't be the last. Since we here at Mania are depraved, we took a look in our history books and pulled out five of the grossest arm breaking submissions we could find. Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) experts, Japanese catch-wrestlers and former Las Vegas night club bouncers all make appearances on the list.

Can you guess which submissions made the cut?

Honorable mention: Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio Rua

Although not actually due to a submission, Mauricio Rua had a pretty nasty elbow dislocation at Pride 31, an event that was ironically named "Unbreakable." Although for full-out irony, I suppose the event would have been called Undislocatable. Or something.

"Shogun" had just won the 2005 grand prix and was looking to continue his winning ways. Coleman wasn't expected to put up much of a a fight against the young lion but less than a minute into the bout, the UFC Hall of Famer got his opponent on the mat. Some grappling back and forth ensued and when "Shogun" tried to get back to his feet, Coleman grabbed at the Brazilian's ankles. Rua ended up falling to the mat and in doing so, landed right on his elbow, popping that sucker right out of place.. The money shot comes at the 55 second mark.


Now on to the top five.

5. Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie, Pride 10

At Pride 8, Sakuraba was booked against Royler Gracie and in a shocking upset, the Japanese legend locked in a kimura on the Brazilian, one Gracie couldn't get out of. The referee stopped the bout despite no tap -- or break -- and thus, the rivalry between "Saku" and the first family of MMA was born.

Sakuraba went on to outlast Royce over the course of 90 minutes during the 2000 grand prix. With two Gracies down, Renzo took the plate to defend the family name.

Just like in the bout with Royler, the Pride Fighting Championships ace locked in a tight kimura. Unlike in the bout with Royler, "Saku" torqued the arm a little further back, busted that baby up but nice.

To his credit (I guess), Renzo never tapped.

4. Steve Cantwell vs. Razak Al-Hassan, UFC Fight for the Troops

Of all the armbreakers on this list, Cantwell's is the least likely. The guy's never been known as a submission wiz but after he snapped Al-Hassan's arm in two, no one will ever think he doesn't know at least a little about the ground game.

A lot of people were up in arms after the submission when Cantwell seemed happy to have broken his opponent's arm. "I always wanted to do that," he admitted. His detractors said it wasn't sporting, it wasn't gentlemanly. C'mon, son. If you ever take a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) class, you want -- at least a little in your secret heart of hearts -- to break someone's arm in half at least once.

Or maybe Cantwell was just excited because he knew it was the last time he would win inside the Octagon.

3. Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, UFC 140

It wasn't enough for Mir to be the first man to stop "Big Nog," he wanted to be the first fighter to make the Brazilian legend tap. And not only did he make Nogueira tap, he broken that arm in two.

After the Las Vegas native got rocked on his feet, it looked like "Minotauro" was going to avenge his UFC 92 loss. Mir was almost out on his feet and when the fight went to the mat, it wasn't a stretch to imagine the Brazilian earning a technical knockout (TKO) stoppage or even a submission himself.

Mir, once again, shocked everyone but latching onto a kimura, rolling through with it along with Nogueira while the Brazilian tried to wiggle out and making history by doing what Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson, Josh Barnett and a mack truck couldn't do: he made Nogueira give up.

Also, props to the random hillbilly who pops up in the middle of this clip.

2. Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota, Dynamite!! 2009

"The Baka Survivor" had a bone to pick with Hirota going into their New Year's Eve bout a couple of years ago. The then-Sengoku champion had won his title earlier in the year by knocking out Satoru Kitaoka, a friend of Aoki's. Let that be a lesson to all of you: before you go knocking dudes out and taking their titles, make sure they don't have a rainbow pants-wearing submission wizard for a BFF.

The best way to describe what Aoki did to Hirota was he "Wayne Arnold'ed" him. The bigger brother from The Wonder Years would constantly pester the younger Kevin, making him hit himself or bending his arms behind his own back. It's exactly what Aoki did that night in Saitama.

Except Wayne, as big a butthead as he was, never went full-out and snapped Kevin's arm. And he never would have flipped Kevin off as he laid there with a broken wing. That's cold blooded, Aoki. Even more cold blooded considering it wasn't Aoki's first rodeo.

1. Frank Mir vs. Tim Sylvia, UFC 48

The granddaddy of them all. Back in 2004, Sylvia was the UFC heavyweight champion at the time as hard to believe as that may seem and was taking on a young Mir.

Mir's BJJ credentials were no secret and "The Maine-iac" had already established himself as a heavy-handed knockout artist. So everyone -- including probably Sylvia himself -- was surprised when the champ caught a kick and took Mir to the mat.

In the most clear cut example of messing the bull and getting the horns since The Breakfast Club, it took only seconds for Mir to transition into an armbar and forever burn this image into my brain.

Any Maniacs out there manage to keep their lunch down after all that?