Who Has The Most UFC ‘Submission Of The Night’ Awards?

In our series of articles drilling into the UFC’s statistics we have previously looked at who has the most K.O’s inside the octagon, and who has the most ‘Fight Of The Night’ awards.  Now we move on to discover which fighter holds the most ‘Submission Of The Night’ awards.

Before we begin we should remind you that the UFC’s bonus awards have only been officially announced in the last few years, so if your expecting to see the likes of Royce Gracie on this list, your going to be disappointed!  We have accurate records from UFC 70 in April 2007 onwards, as well as some evidence for the year previous to that which we have used to compile these findings.

3. Dustin Hazelett, Krzysztof Soszynski, Nate Diaz and Terry Etim – Two ‘Submission Of The Night’ Awards

As you can see, it only takes two ‘Submission Of The Night’ Awards to make it on to our list.  Read on to learn more about the fighters who have received the awards, and watch footage of some of their finest submission moments for yourself.

Dustin Hazelett Armbars Josh Burkman TUF 7 Finale
Hazlett's Spectacular Flying Armbar

Dustin Hazelett, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under former UFC and current WEC fighter Jorge Gurgel, has been plying his trade in the UFC since October of 2006, and holds a record of 5-2 during that time.

So far he has made excellent use of his ground skills with four of his five octagon wins having come by way of submission. His last two, a flying armbar against Josh Burkman that was was as good as any sub we would see in 2008, followed by an impressive reverse armbar on Tamdan McCrory, have earned him two very well deserved Submission Of The Night awards, and an extra $80,000 in bonus money for his troubles.

Hazelett will be looking to add another to his collection when he faces Karo Parisyan at UFC 106 in November.

Krzysztof Soszynski Kimura Brian Stann UFC 97 Redemption
Soszynski's Kimura on Brian Stann

In his 28 fight career to date, Polish born fighter Krzysztof Soszynski has won eight of his eighteen victories by submission. After signing to fight for the UFC in 2008, Soszynski wasted no time in showing off his favourite submission – the kimura.

In his first two fights for the promotion, against Shane Primm and Brian Stann, he finished both by the kimura.  He walked away with the submission award on each occasion, which tallied up to a cool $95,000.

Incidentally it was the third fight in a row that he had finished a fight in this way, having also defeated Marcus Hicks at UCW11 in the same manner before stepping into the octagon.

Nate Diaz Modified Guillotine Chokes Melvin Guillard UFN 19
Nate Diaz Guillotine Choke on Guillard

We have spoken about Nate Diaz’s performances in the UFC before in this series due to his three ‘Fight Of The Night’ awards, but remarkably the Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner has also managed to claim two ‘Submission Of The Night’ awards in his eight fights in the octagon so far.

Against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Kurt Pelligrino at UFN 13, Diaz memorably caught him in a triangle choke, and once it was secured,  raised his arms in celebration and flexed for the crowd before finally tightening up the choke, forcing his opponent to tap.

Then, at the recent UFN 19 event in September he claimed his second award when he caught Mevin Guillard in a modified guillotine choke.   The two awards have netted him an extra $50,000 in bonuses.

Up and coming UK fighter Terry Etim is the final fighter to have received two ‘Submission Of The Night’ awards.  Interestingly, along with training in BJJ,  Etim also studies another martial art from Brazil which emphasizes joint locks and choke holds –   Luta Livre (meaning “free fight”).

Sorry, No GIF for this one!

In his fifteen fight career the 24 year old has certainly shown his studies to be worthwhile, with ten of his thirteen wins coming via submissions.  two of those have come during his time in the UFC, and both were awarded ‘Submission of The night’.

The first was against Matt Grice in his debut at UFC 70 where he caught his opponent in a guillotine choke.   His second, a D’arce choke, came in his most recent appearance in the octagon against Justin Buchholz at UFC 99.

His next fight is at the UFC 105 event in England against Shannon Gugerty where he will hope to add to the $90,000 he has so far earned in bonus money.

2. Jason MacDonald: Three Submission Of The Night Awards

Jason MacDonald has the slightly dubious distinction of being the only fighter on this list who is no longer fighting in the UFC, though a return at some stage isn’t completely out of the question.

Jason Lambert vs. Jason MacDonald Rear Naked Choke UFC 88
MacDonald Chokes Out Jason Lambert

On the bright side he certainly made a mark during his time in the promotion, including the three ‘Submission Of The Night’ awards that sees him claim the 2nd spot on our list.

His first came in his debut in the octagon in 2006 when he wasted no time in cinching in a triangle choke in the very  first round against Ed Herman. He would go two-for-two when he faced Chris Leben only a couple of months later, this time forcing his opponent to tap with a modified guillotine choke.

It would be six fights later before he claimed his third award, and this time it was Jason Lambert who succumbed to his submission skills – on this ocassion a rear naked choke.

As for his bonus money, unfortunately two of his awards came in the days before the bonus money was officially disclosed, though we do know for sure that his third earned him an extra $60,000

1. Demian Maia: Four Submission Of The Night Awards

Widely recognized as one of the most talented Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners ever to have fought in the sport of mixed martial arts, it is perhaps fitting that Demian Maia is the fighter with the most submission awards.

Maia Subs Herman (Long Version)
Maia Dominates Ed Herman At UFC 83

Maia is a 2nd degree black belt in BJJ, and along with an MMA record of 11-1 to date, he has also competed at the highest level in grappling competitions around the world, including winning first place at the highly prestigious ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships (77-87 kg) in 2007.

In his UFC career to date all five of his wins have come about by way of submission, and on four of those occasions he also took home the Submission Of The Night award.

Maia racked up three of the award in his first three fights .  First off was Ryan Jensen at UFC 77 who quickly found himself on the wrong end of a rear naked choke.   Meanwhile the unfortunate Ed Herman, who we have already noted as being submitted by Jason MacDonald, received similar treatment from  Maia who caught him in a triangle choke from the mount position.

Demian Maia Triangle Chokes Chael Sonnen UFC 95
Sonnen Taps To Maia's Triangle Choke

It is somewhat fateful that Maia’s next fight would indeed be with the aforementioned MacDonald, giving us a chance to see just who had the superiority in the submission department.  In the end the winner would be as most would have predicted – Maia finally managed to make him tap in the third round due to a rear naked choke.

He would go on to secure another RNC in his next fight against Nate Quarry, but would have to wait until his next fight to pick up his fourth submission award.  This time round it was Chael Sonnen who would be his victim earlier this year when his weapon of choice would be a triangle choke.

With so many awards to his name you would imagine that the top fighter on our list would have pocketed a rather tidy sum for his impressive displays, and you’d be right.  He has so far received $205,000 in bonus cheques, and with his credentials you certainly wouldn’t put it past him to add to that in the future.

Article By RossC

Gifs courtesy of mma-core.com

If you enjoyed this article then be sure to check out the others in the series:

Which Fighters Claim The Most UFC  ‘Fight Of The Night’ Awards?

Which Fighters Have The Most ‘K.O’s Inside The UFC Octagon?

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.