The art of the submission has been a cornerstone of mixed martial arts competition since the very first UFC event when Royce Gracie gave everyone an unforgettable lesson in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – tapping out three opponents of all different shapes and sizes in less than five minutes combined to become it’s first ever champion.
Below we compile ten of the most memorable, spectacular and at times downright brutal, submissions ever seen in the Octagon. Enjoy!
Royce Gracie vs Kimo Leopoldo, UFC 3
Unlike the UFC’s first ever event, by the time UFC 3 rolled around everyone knew about Royce Gracie and what his gameplan was when he stepped into the Octagon – but could anyone stop him?
Kimo certainly looked the part, standing 6ft 2″ tall with an imposing looking 250 pound physique, and he used that as best he could to try to keep this fight standing. After a gruelling clinch battle they did eventually fall to the floor though, and it was Kimo who ended up on top.
This was the first time that Gracie had ever been in any kind of adversity in the Octagon, but he would then go on to show that even from his back underneath a much bigger opponent he was still just as dangerous as he tapped him out with an armlock to remain undefeated.
However, the exhausting nature of the fight took it’s toll on the champion and Gracie was unable to make it back out to the cage that night for the semi-finals due to exhaustion.