Who are the best 10 submission fighters? Here is our list of the MMA fighters who are at the top of the game when it comes to ending a fight with a submission.
1. Frank Mir — Known for his brutal BJJ, Mir recently broke Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s arm with a kimura at UFC 140. Years before, he won the UFC heavyweight strap by breaking Tim Sylvia’s arm in an arm bar.
2. Kazushi Sakuraba — Although past his prime, Sakuraba, a catch wrestler, still fights on occasion in Japan. he gained notoriety in PrideFC for beating four members of the Gracie clan, including his 90-minute epic battle with former UFC tournament champion Royce Gracie.
3. Chan Sung Jung — Known as “The Korean Zombie,” Jung cemented his name in the annals of the UFC as the first fighter to successfully use a Twister in a fight. Jung used the move, a spine crank — the name of which was coined by Eddie Bravo — against Leonard Garcia at UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis.
4. Shinya Aoki — A Japanese lightweight fighter with black belt in BJJ and judo, Aoki has used a variety of submissions to subdue opponents in DREAM, Japan’s number-one MMA promotion. Aoki has submitted names such as Eddie Alvarez, Joachim Hansen, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Rob McCullough.
5. Josh Barnett — A catch wrestling practitioner who has trained with Matt Hume and Erik Paulson, Barnett is a former UFC and Pancrase champion. This Spring, Barnett will face Daniel Cormier for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship.
6. Stefan Struve — Although he hails from Holland, known for its kickboxing, Struve — currently the tallest heavyweight in the UFC at 6-feet, 11-inches — racked up most of his wins by submission prior to signing with the UFC. Notably, he submitted two BJJ black belts, a feat not many can lay claim to.
7. Demian Maia — a UFC middleweight, Maia is a third-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has submitted Chael Sonnen, Nate Quarry and Jason McDonald in the UFC. In 2007, Maia won the Abu Dhabi Combat Club tournament, known to be the most prestigious grappling event in the world.
8. Jimy Hettes — Before he was signed to the UFC in 2010, Hettes had won all of his fights — 4 as an amateur and 8 as a pro — all by submission. Once in the UFC, he submitted Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres by rear-naked choke at UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle.
9. Masakazu Imanari — His name may not be familiar to those outside of Japan, but in his native country, Imanari is known as one of the best ground fighters. Imanari has beaten opponents by heel hook, toe hold, rear-naked choke and arm bar. Hi most notable win was against BJJ balck belt Jorge Gurgel by heel hook in 2003.
10. Ronda Rousey — An Olympic bronze medallist in judo, Rousey then turned her attention to MMA, training under Gokor Chivichyan and “Judo” Gene LeBell. Rousey is undefeated at 4-0 and has won all of her fights by submission, with her signature move — a judo hip toss into an arm bar.
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