Pat Sabatini proved once again why the heel hook may be the most damaging submission in all of mixed martial arts.
In a battle of leg locks at UFC Vegas 35, Sabatini was fighting off a toehold attempt from his opponent Jamall Emmers while simultaneously trying to grab onto a heel hook of his own. Once he was finally able to get a grip on a leg, Sabatini turned his body towards the mat and Emmers’ leg instantly twisted and popped as he cried out in pain while tapping due to the submission.
The end came at just 1:53 in the first round.
Afterwards, Sabatini admitted that he didn’t remember exactly how he ended up on the ground after he got clipped with an early punch from Emmers, but he was obviously able to turn the tables in the grappling exchange.
“I wasn’t really hurt, I was a little confused,” Sabatini said about his performance. “My heart goes out to him, I hope he’s OK. I hope his knee’s OK.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do. Next time I’m in here, I’m going to show more. I can do it all. Tonight didn’t get to show that, but next time.”
Emmers started strong with an uppercut that appeared to catch Sabatini flush and put him on wobbly legs before the fight hit the floor. At first, Emmers was happy to look for some ground-and-pound before transitioning to submission attempts.
Eventually, Emmers stood back up to his feet to rain down punches from above, but that’s when Sabatini saw an opening to look for the leg and then both fighters were grabbing at submissions. In the end, it was Sabatini’s heel hook that got the job done, as he put Emmers away and moved to 2-0 inside the octagon.
Sadly, Emmers stayed down on the canvas for several minutes as medical personnel applied ice to his knee and put his leg in a splint before he climbed back to his feet to leave the octagon. He will likely be headed to a local Las Vegas hospital for treatment.