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Submission of the Half-Year: The Twister


That's the number of fight cards until a Twister made its way inside the UFC cage. Over 17 years after Royce Gracie first showcased Brazilian jiu-jitsu to a national audience, there are submission holds still being introduced to MMA.

"The Korean Zombie" Chan-Sung Jung's Twister against Leonard Garcia at UFC Fight Night 24 is my selection for the top submission of the year so far.

Chan's first meeting with Garcia at WEC 48 is considered to be one of the top five fights of 2010 and with highly questionable scores surrounding the popular fight, it was only a matter of time until the two would meet again. The rematch finally came into fruition this past March and although it wasn't a repeat of their ridiculously fun, reckless WEC slugfest, it managed to steal the show once again with the introduction of a submission never before seen in the UFC.

The Twister (referred to as a "guillotine" in wrestling) is a neck crank wrestling maneuver modified and popularized by jiu-jitsu instructor Eddie Bravo for submission grappling and MMA.

Yes, the submission has been done before, but not on a major league show. Jason Chambers and Jason Day, followers of Bravo's rubber guard system, have done it before in 2005 and 2009, respectively. Nick "The Goat" Thompson might have been the first when he used it in August 2004 and on the women's MMA front, Shayna Baszler recorded a Twister at a local show in Shawnee, Okla. Between upper echelon competitors, Jake Shields attempted a Twister on Jason "Mayhem" Miller at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers, but couldn't finish it. So while there have been a handful of Twisters on the local level, Chan was the first to pull it off in the UFC and live in front of a television audience.

No. 2: Richard Hale's Inverted Triangle Choke
Richard Hale repeated the 2009 Submission of the Year at Bellator 38 in March. The kicker? Hale's a light heavyweight and had never practiced the move during training, only learning of the move the night before when he watched the Toby Imada submission in a highlight package played during the weigh-ins.

No. 3: Vinny Magalhaes's Gogoplata from Mount
It's a move lightweight Shinya Aoki first executed (at least on a major show) and Vinny Magalhaes recently repeated it in a light heavyweight contest. No stranger to flashy movesets against elite competition (he landed two flying armbars at ADCC 2009), Magalhaes performed a gogoplata from mount against Viktor Nemkov to win the M-1 light heavyweight title at M-1 Challenge 25 in April. Magalhaes had a slightly different setup than Aoki, hitting the shin choke after establishing the Z-mount (also known as S-mount) instead of directly from full mount.

No. 4: Brian Bowles' Guillotine Choke
Different promotion, identical result. Not a second more and not a second less. When Brian Bowles took on Damacio Page in a rematch at UFC on Versus 3 in March, he didn't just submit Page again with a guillotine choke, he did so at three minutes and 30 seconds -- the exact same time of their previous finish three years earlier at WEC 35.

No. 5: Gledrius Karavackas' Scarf Hold Armlock
Gledrius Karavackas showcased his judo background with a scarf hold armlock against Sam Oropeza at Bellator 44. In the second round of their fight, Karavackas advanced to the scarf-hold position with a big right hand. From there he applied a keylock in the scarf hold, but instead of aiming for a submission at first, he used it more as a contol position to trap his opponent for repeated left punches. However, Oropeza refused to give up from the punches, so Karavackas finally extended Oropeza's right arm for the tap out. Just a brutal finish to a fight. Note: The move can also be found in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but Karavackas himself credited his knowledge of the move from his experience in judo.

Honorable Mentions:
Pablo Garza's flying triangle over Yves Jabouin at UFC 129
Tito Ortiz's career-resurrecting guillotine submission over Ryan Bader at UFC 132
Marloes Coenen's come-from-behind triangle choke to retain title over Liz Carmouche at Strikeforce: Feijao-Henderson

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