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The 5 craziest submissions in MMA history

Sick of seeing the same old armbar and rear-naked choke finishes? Check out these crazy submissions!


  1. 5 Charles Oliveira's calf slicer


    UFC on FOX 2 - January 2012

    While a calf slicer submission is quickly becoming more and more common in no-gi grappling competition, it's especially rare to see a successful one in mixed martial arts.

    When Charles Oliveira tapped Eric Wisely with this calf slicer at UFC on FOX 2, fans all around the world were left wondering what had happened.

    A calf slicer is incredibly painful. The person applying the submission drives their shin deep into the muscles of the calf of their opponent. Once separating the muscles of the calf, the shin then applies drastic force to the bone. Once there, unlike a choke, a fighter can try to tough it out, but it can cause permanent muscle damage.

    What's even more insane about Oliveira's calf slicer is that it was executed in reverse as Oliveira was carrying the full weight of Wisely at the time.

  2. 4 Jamelle Jones' banana split


    CFFC 31 - February 2014

    I can almost guarantee that any guy out there watching this will cringe at the sight of this submission.

    Trust me, it feels none better than it looks.

    As no-gi grappling is developing, we are seeing increased usage of the "Banana Split" submission because you can enter this from a position known as "The Truck".

    Mostly, this submission is used to test the flexibility of your opponent and often the tap won't eventuate. However, if an opponent has no flexibility, as seems to be the case with Danny Holmes in this scenario, there's no other option but to submit due to the extreme pain.

    Realistically, there's also every chance that Danny Holmes wanted to be a father someday, too.

  3. 3 Mackenzie Dern's omoplata rear-naked choke


    Legacy 61 - October 2016

    Mackenzie Dern sent the jiu-jitsu world into a frenzy when she hit this incredible omoplata and rear-naked choke submission at Legacy 61.

    This isn't just a rare submission in MMA, it's a submission that even the most hardcore jiu-jitsu practitioners probably haven't seen.

    There are two things going on here with Mackenzie Dern's double submission. First, the omoplata is a form of shoulder lock and forcing deliberate pressure on the shoulder of her opponent. Secondly, as some people refuse to tap to joint locks, Dern punched through for a rear-naked choke simultaneously.

  4. 2 The Korean Zombie's twister


    UFC Fight Night 24 - March 2011

    "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung featured at #3 in our top 5 submissions in UFC history rankings for this twister submission against Leonard Garcia.

    It was the introduction of Eddie Bravo's jiu-jitsu system to the world of MMA. Bravo had previously wrecked the grappling tournament scenes with this submission and it was only a matter of time until it caught on.

    The twister is possibly the most painful of all submissions as it forces twisting pressure onto the spine. While the bottom half of the body is locked down, the person applying the submission reaches for the head of their opponent and twists it back while thrusting their hips into their back.

    The result is an unnatural spinal movement that should never really happen to any human being. The pain is unbearable and not tapping to this submission (if well-applied) is a big no-no.

    Eddie Bravo, who was mightily impressed with The Korean Zombie's application of the twister in MMA, commented:

    If you get someone in an armbar or an arm-triangle, no one really cares to see the video, it's not an exciting thing. But if you put someone in a twister, it trips people out.

  5. 1 Toby Imada's inverted triangle choke


    Bellator - May 2009

    Toby Imada's ridiculous inverted triangle choke against Jorge Masvidal is still unbelievable to this day.

    To even know that this setup is possible is one thing, but to execute it flawlessly inside the cage is a whole new level.

    Imada took advantage of a strange scramble and a sloppy Masvidal single-leg attempt before finding his opportunity to work this surprising submission into play. At first, it doesn't look to be all that tight. But once Masvidal stands up and his arms go limp, you realize that triangle choke has sucked the life out of poor Jorge Masvidal.

    Post-fight, Ariel Helwani asked Imada if he was surprised that Masvidal didn't tap?

    Yeah, of course. It's always normal for someone to tap, but he said it himself, he didn't know what was going on as I'm sure his air was cut off. On top of that, probably towards the very last second, he didn't know where to tap, because I wasn't in front of him.

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Jake Nichols

Jake is RealSport's MMA editor. Based in South East Asia, Jake provides comprehensive coverage of ONE Championship while also sharing his thoughts on UFC and Bellator.

The 5 craziest submissions in MMA history

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