When the UFC began, the Gracie family intended to show the world the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ground fighting was basically unheard of at the time, but that all changed when Royce Gracie stepped into the Octagon. After submitting all three opponents in one night and winning the first ever UFC tournament, Royce Gracie had proven that BJJ was an integral martial art that up and coming fighters had to learn. Now, 20 years later, BJJ is an essential part of Mixed Martial Arts and all of its athletes.
In 2013, we witnessed some of the best submissions we have ever seen. Some were technical masterpieces, while others were brutally painful. Today, I recap the 10 best submissions of 2013, in GIF form. It would be a crime to simply list the best submissions without being able to see them. Without further ado, here are the top 10 submissions of 2013:
10. Sergio Moraes vs Neil Magny: Sergio Moraes showed off his brilliant triangle technique against Neil Magny earlier this year. Finishing a triangle from on top is a rare feat, and is absolutely deserving of the #10 spot on this list.
9. Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche: Ronda Rousey has no mercy for other Women’s arms. In her UFC debut, Rousey continued her 1st round armbar streak by submitting Liz Carmouche.
8. Fabricio Werdum vs Minotauro Nogueira: If you submit Big Nog, you automatically make it on the ‘best of’ lists. Fabricio Werdum showed off his own grappling prowess with a beautiful armbar over the BJJ legend.
7. Urijah Faber vs Ivan Menjivar: This is one of my personal favorite submissions of all time. Faber latches on to Menjivar’s back, locks in the body triangle, and sinks in the standing rear naked choke. This was truly an incredible finish.
6. Kenny Robertson vs Brock Jardine: Creative submissions are a dime a dozen, but Kenny Robertson pulled off a ‘Suloev stretch’ earlier this year in one of the most memorable submissions in a long time.
5. Urijah Faber vs Michael McDonald: If Urijah Faber latches on to a guillotine, his opponent is either tapping or going to sleep. Just ask Michael McDonald.
4. Demetrious Johnson vs John Moraga: Mighty Mouse was just a minute and a half away from another successful title defense by way of decision. DJ decided to silence the critics instead, give up his dominant position for an armbar, and finished the job in spectacular fashion.
3. Anthony Pettis vs Benson Henderson: This may have been the most shocking submission of the year. Pettis locked it in so quickly, that the crowd’s reaction was late. Add in the fact that he submitted the incredibly durable Henderson in a title fight, and you have a top 3 submission of the year.
2. Josh Burkman vs Jon Fitch: Josh Burkman shocked the MMA world earlier this year by putting Jon Fitch to sleep with this nasty guillotine choke. Flipping Fitch over after he was out was just the cherry on top to one of the best submissions of 2013. Also related, Steve Mazzagatti is a terrible referee.
1. Rose Namajunas vs Kathina Catron: Rose Namajunas hit a flying armbar in 12 seconds at Invicta 5. What else is there to say? Watch Rose compete on TUF 20 later this year.
Honorable Mentions: There were so many incredible submissions this year that is makes it difficult to only compile a list of 10. So, for your viewing pleasure, I included another 5 submissions that were just outside my top 10.
Jacare Souza vs Chris Camozzi
Nick Newell vs Sabah Fadai
Chael Sonnen vs Shogun Rua
Brendan Schaub vs Matt Mitrione
Michael McDonald vs Brad Pickett
This article could not have been written without the GIFs, so a huge thanks to Zombie Prophet for providing them. How did you like my list? Did I leave out any submissions that you would have liked to see? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter @SchlinskMMA