There weren’t necessarily a great number of spectacular or unusual submissions in 2013, but it was a year full of technique and precision on the ground in the UFC.
Many of the most memorable subs were armbars. In fact, 2013 could be considered the year of the armbar–and we’re not just talking about Ronda Rousey’s emergence as a true MMA superstar.
With that, here are sportsnet.ca’s top 13 UFC submissions from 2013:
Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson
Pettis is known for his dynamic striking, but six of his 17 career wins have been by submission and his armbar of Henderson to win the UFC lightweight title at UFC 164 in his hometown of Milwaukee was the most impressive of his career.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga
Johnson’s armbar submission of Moraga to defend his flyweight title was the latest stoppage in UFC history and only the fourth fifth-round stoppage in UFC history. It was a thing of beauty that all started from a kimura attempt.
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche/Miesha Tate
Rousey has the best armbar in all of MMA — there’s no arguing it — and she displayed her art form twice inside the Octagon in 2013. She made history against Carmouche at UFC 157, in the first ever female fight in the UFC, then she topped her rival Tate in a thrilling bout at UFC 168.
Kenny Robertson def. Brock Jardine
In what was certainly the oddest submission we saw in the UFC in 2013, Robertson tested the tensile strength of Jardine’s hamstring in this unusual move.
Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Many considered this a major upset since Sonnen typically competes in the middleweight division, but the American showed he’s much more than a great wrestler as he locked in a first-round guillotine that Shogun couldn’t escape.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Nogueira is arguably the best heavyweight submission artist in MMA history, but Werdum outclassed him in this battle of Brazilians. Werdum locked in a tight armbar for his first submission win in the UFC.
Erick Silva def. Jason High
An inverted triangle-armbar that started from back mount? Ya, you could say that was impressive.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Vaughan Lee
Assuncao is quickly rising up the 135-pound rankings and his win over Lee was a big part of that. The Brazilian the same technique Rousey has perfected to tap Lee, who’s an outstanding grappler in his own right.
James Krause vs. Sam Stout
In a close, back-and-forth fight at UFC 161 in Winnipeg, Stout secured a late takedown in the third round, which likely would have solidified him the round and fight, but Krause had different plans. The WEC veteran, who took the fight on short notice, locked in a guillotine on the durable Canadian and Stout tapped out with just 13 remaining in the fight.
Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett
McDonald was the victim of two terrific holds courtesy of Renan Barao and Urijah Faber, but he also dished out one of the best submissions. After throwing leather with Pickett, McDonald synched in a triangle to great effect.
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
At UFC 157, Faber brilliantly transitioned into a standing back-mount body triangle on Menjivar and sunk in a rear-naked choke. Faber also had great submission wins over McDonald and Scott Jorgensen in 2013 but his choke of Menjivar was the best of the three.
Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller
In one of the best fights of the year, Healy got the upper hand late and choked Miller unconscious with a great rear-naked choke.
Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Bader’s modified one-arm guillotine from a loose half guard was quite impressive. It was the first time anyone submitted Matyushenko in the Belarusian’s 16-year MMA career.