Submission of the Year – Inside Fights Roundtable Discussion of 2013 in Combat Sports

We could’ve voted on it, of course, and discussed a list of some of the great submission of 2013. But instead we all had different opinions and what better way to discuss the year that was in 2013 for combat sports is to discuss our favorites of the year roundtable style.

Participating are:

Scott Sawitz
Daniel Sohn
Adam Keyes
Luke Cho-Yee

And now … the best of 2013:

Sohn: Anthony Pettis’ armbar of Benson Henderson

I know, I know. An armbar? It’s one of the most common submissions in MMA, one that we see completed at least once on every MMA card and attempted many more times. Compared to what else happened in 2013, like the ham ripper from Kenny Robertson and the flying armbar from Rose Namajunas, what Pettis did wasn’t that amazing, right? Wrong.

Although there may have been more impressive individual submissions completed in organizations around the world, none may have had more consequences and come at a bigger moment on a bigger stage than Anthony Pettis’ armbar submission of Benson Henderson.
First of all, it was for the lightweight title. Anytime a guy submits the champion in a title fight, from his guard, especially a champion who is known for his ability to escape submissions, you have to give him credit. That’s an impressive feat. Add to that how quickly he was able to do it. Many expected the fight to go the distance as it did in the first classic matchup, but Pettis finished Henderson in the first round. Henderson hadn’t been submitted in six years, prior to when Pettis caught him. Very, very, very few guys could have done what Pettis did that night.
Keyes: Ronda Rousey notches another first round armbar win at UFC 157

My pick for submission of the year goes to Ronda Rousey for her 1st round armbar finish of Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. There may have been more spectacular or visually pleasing submission finishes than the customary Rousey armbar, but for me this choice was made on the back of the significance of the manoeuvre rather than the execution of the hold per se. This was the first women’s fight in the UFC and with Dana White claiming that the only reason women were even in the UFC was because of Rousey, the need for her to win, not only to defend her belt but also to lead the charge for women’s MMA was imperative. After surviving a submission scare early in the first round, Rousey was able to take Carmouche to the ground and work for the armbar. With just under a shade of 10 seconds left in the round, Rousey had locked in her fearsome submission hold and force the tap from Carmouche; winning the fight, defending her belt and ensuring the future of women’s MMA.

Sawitz: Anthony Pettis taps Benson Henderson at UFC 164

Benson Henderson’s top game is extraordinary. When he gets on top he generally tends to keep you on bottom, which is why Anthony Pettis tapping him with an armbar from guard on bottom is my submission of the year. Pettis showed that the guard can still be deadly as he pulled off a beautiful transition to it and caught him in spectacular fashion.

CY: Anthony Pettis taps Benson Henderson at UFC 164

For the sheer ruthlessness and speed in which it was executed my choice is the arm-bar which prised the UFC lightweight championship away from Benson Henderson and into the grateful hands of Anthony Pettis. The fight itself was anti-climatic after such an epic back and forth contest that they gave us in the WEC but the way Pettis snatched that arm up and turned to secure the finish as Benson tried to escape was a thing of crushing beauty.


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