Ever since the beginning of MMA, submissions have been a centerpiece of the sport. Although some submissions are simpler than other, all of them can be effective when executed correctly. Here are the top five submissions that every MMA fighter need to know to be an efficient fighter.
1. Triangle Choke
One of most sufficient chokes in the sport, the triangle choke is easily the number one submission. While in the guard position, the fighter traps his opponent’s arm and pulls it forward. From there, the fighter puts his leg opposite to the isolated arm behind the opponent’s head and locks the legs together. Once the legs are locked, the opponent is trapped, and the fighter in guard applies pressure until his opponent either taps out or loses consciousness. While the triangle choke has been around since the early days of MMA, it’s defense is taught very early into a fighter’s career, so not being able to defend this move at the professional level is somewhat embarrassing. However, the triangle choke can a very sufficient submission when executed correctly even against the most experienced fighter. For instance, Fedor Emelianenko recently lost what most people consider his first ever career loss this past year to Frabricio Werdum in a triangle choke.
2. Rear Naked Choke
This choke is one of the most deadly when executed correctly. Often on his back and with his opponent facing away from him, the fighter will wrap one arm around his opponent’s neck with his forearm pushing against one side of the neck and his bicep against the other side of the neck. The fighter’s other arm will push against the back of his opponent’s head and apply hooks to the opponent’s flanks. The fighter then expands his chest until the opponent taps out or is forced to go unconscious. Unlike some choke holds that put pressure on a fighter’s windpipe, this choke pinches the carotid arteries, which supply oxygen and blood to the head, making it one of the quickest and most dominating chokes in MMA.
3. Guillotine Choke
Although considered one of the most common submissions in MMA, the guillotine choke is very effective against fighters who lower their heads when attacking their opponent. To apply this choke, The fighter slips an arm under the opponent’s chin against the throat then grabs the wrist with his free hand and begins pulling upward, cutting into the opponent’s throat, cutting off the fighter’s windpipe. Because of how versatile it is, the guillotine can be executed from both the standing and guard positions. This choke can also essentially make a fighter’s career. For instance, UFC fighter Cody McKenzie has ten consecutive victories by guillotine choke, and although fighters know what he brings to the table, his choke is so sufficient that fighters can’t guard it, making it one of the deadliest in the sport.
4. Arm Bar
The arm bar is a common submission lock intended to hyperextend the arm. The fighter will trap and isolate his opponent’s arm by pulling it between his own legs. From there, the fighter arches his hips and leans backwards, which puts concentrated pressure on his opponent’s elbow and hyper extends the opponent’s arm. Ligament damage is common in this submission, along with the ability to break the opponent’s arm or elbow when executed to it’s fullest.
This submission move is named after judo great Masahiko Kimura, who used the move to snap MMA legend Helio Gracie’s arm in a match in 1955. This move can be applied from either the guard or side-control positions. The fighter in guard will grab his opponent’s hand or wrist, open his own guard, and sit up or rotate to the side. The fighter will then reach over his opponent’s arm that is being held by the hand, grab his own wrist, and start pushing the prone opponent’s arm away from his body, moving it toward his head, causing hyper rotation of shoulder. This causes tremendous pressure on the arm, usually causing ligament damage or a broken arm. One of the most famous kimura submissions of all-time happened in the famous fight between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba in “Pride 10 – Return of the Warriors”, where Gracie refused to tap against Sakuraba’s kimura, causing him to tear numerous tendons and ligaments and break his arm.
As you can see, submissions that are executed correctly can result in a dominate victory, but can result in serious injury if not defended well. The defense for these submissions are just as important as being able to execute them, and when a fighter is able to execute the submission as well as defend it, it shows that you are serious fighter.