Most Common Submissions in MMA/UFC History (Full List)

Step into the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where submissions reign supreme. Like a symphony of technique and precision, fighters utilize various submissions to force their opponents into submission.

In this article, we explore the most prevalent submissions in MMA/UFC history, unveiling the secrets behind their effectiveness. From the dominating rear-naked choke to the versatile guillotine and armbar, these submissions showcase the mastery and ingenuity of the fighters who employ them.

Join us as we unravel the artistry of submissions in the MMA/UFC arena.

Key Takeaways

  • Rear-Naked Choke is the most superior and common submission in MMA/UFC, effectively stopping blood flow to the brain.
  • Guillotine is the second most common submission, with the advantage of being easy to attempt and secure from various positions.
  • Armbar is the third most common submission, known for its difficulty to escape once locked in and its offensive and defensive capabilities.
  • Blood chokes, such as Arm Triangle Choke and Triangle Choke, are among the most common submissions, effectively utilizing the trapping of carotid arteries and neck with different techniques.

Rear-Naked Choke

The Rear-Naked Choke has been the most superior and frequently utilized submission in the history of MMA/UFC. This technique, when executed correctly, stops blood flow to the brain, rendering the opponent unconscious. One of the major advantages of the rear-naked choke is that it can be attempted repeatedly without giving up an advantageous position.

By trapping the opponent in a body triangle, the attacker has control and leverage. Furthermore, there is no way for the opponent to muscle out of the choke, making it incredibly effective. However, like any technique, there are some cons to consider. If the choke fails, the attacker may find themselves in a compromised position. Additionally, fighters with shorter arms may struggle to fully lock in the choke.

Despite these drawbacks, the rear-naked choke remains a staple in the arsenal of any MMA/UFC fighter.


The second most common submission in the history of MMA/UFC is the Guillotine. This chokehold can be attempted from various positions and is particularly effective against wrestlers.

Here are some key aspects of the Guillotine:

  • Variations and setups for the guillotine choke:
  • High elbow guillotine: Involves trapping the opponent's head with a high elbow to create a tighter squeeze.
  • Arm-in guillotine: Involves securing the opponent's arm inside the choke, making it harder for them to defend.
  • Standing guillotine: Can be executed when both fighters are on their feet, often catching the opponent off guard.

Effective counters and escapes for the guillotine choke:

  • Posture up and create space: By standing up straight and creating distance, it becomes harder for the opponent to maintain a tight grip.
  • Hand fighting: By controlling the opponent's hands and preventing them from securing a deep grip, it becomes more difficult for them to execute the choke.
  • Sprawl: By sprawling their legs back and dropping their hips, the defender can prevent the opponent from securing the choke and potentially escape the position.
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Understanding the variations, setups, counters, and escapes for the guillotine choke is crucial for both offensive and defensive strategies in MMA/UFC. Mastery of this submission can greatly enhance a fighter's arsenal.


Moving on from the previous subtopic, the armbar is the third most common submission in the history of MMA/UFC. This versatile submission has been utilized by fighters across various weight classes and disciplines. The armbar can be executed from both offensive and defensive positions, making it a valuable technique in a fighter's arsenal.

The key to a successful armbar lies in the variations and setups employed by the practitioner. From the top position, fighters often transition to mount or guard to secure the armbar. Additionally, fighters can use their legs to trap the opponent's arm, increasing the effectiveness of the submission.

On the defensive side, there are several techniques to counter the armbar. These include stacking the opponent's weight, hand fighting, and creating space to prevent the arm from being fully extended.

Developing a comprehensive understanding of armbar variations and defensive techniques is crucial for any MMA/UFC fighter seeking mastery in submissions.

Arm Triangle Choke

The arm triangle choke ranks fourth among the most common submissions in the history of MMA/UFC. This highly effective technique involves trapping an opponent's head and arm, applying pressure to the carotid arteries, and cutting off blood flow to the brain.

Here are some key aspects of the arm triangle choke:

  • Variations of the arm triangle choke: Fighters have developed variations of this submission, such as the D'Arce Choke and the Anaconda Choke, to suit their body types and fighting styles.
  • Defensive uses of the arm triangle choke: While the arm triangle choke is typically used offensively to submit opponents, it can also be utilized defensively to control and neutralize an opponent's attack.

The arm triangle choke is a versatile and powerful submission technique that can be both a devastating offensive move and a valuable defensive tool in the arsenal of a skilled MMA fighter.

Triangle Choke

Continuing the exploration of common submissions in MMA/UFC history, let us delve into the technique known as the triangle choke. The triangle choke is a highly effective submission that utilizes the legs to trap the opponent's neck, cutting off their blood flow and forcing them to submit or lose consciousness. It is a versatile technique that can be executed from various positions, making it a valuable weapon for fighters of all styles.

To provide a deeper understanding of the triangle choke, let's examine its variations and effective counters in a table format:

Triangle Choke Variations Effective Counters to Triangle Choke
Traditional Triangle Posture up and stack your opponent
Inverted Triangle Defend the arm and create space
Mounted Triangle Bridge and roll to escape
Side Triangle Clear the choking leg and pass

D'Arce Choke

The D'Arce Choke is a highly effective submission technique utilized in MMA/UFC, often executed by fighters with long arms. This technique involves trapping the opponent's neck and arm with one's own arm, creating a blood choke that can quickly render the opponent unconscious.

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Here are the pros and cons of the d'arce choke technique:


  • Allows the fighter to maintain control of their opponent while applying the submission.
  • Can be executed from various positions, such as top control or during a scramble.
  • Provides an opportunity for fighters with long arms to exploit their reach advantage.


  • Requires precise positioning and technique to fully secure the choke.
  • Can be difficult to execute against opponents with a strong defense or a smaller neck.

Strategies for defending against the d'arce choke technique:

  • Maintain a strong posture and keep the arms close to the body to make it harder for the opponent to trap the arm.
  • Create space by pushing the opponent's head away from the body.
  • Utilize proper hand fighting techniques to prevent the opponent from locking in the choke.

Mastering the d'arce choke technique can give fighters a powerful tool in their submission arsenal, but it is also important to be aware of its limitations and the strategies for defending against it.

Anaconda Choke

How frequently is the Anaconda Choke submission technique utilized in MMA/UFC history? The Anaconda Choke is a popular submission in MMA/UFC, although not as common as the Rear-Naked Choke or Guillotine. This technique falls under the category of blood chokes, which work by constricting the opponent's carotid arteries, cutting off the blood flow to the brain. The Anaconda Choke is a variation of the arm triangle choke, executed by threading the arm under the opponent's neck and armpit. To provide a better understanding, here is a table outlining the anaconda choke variations and setups:

Variation Description
Standard Anaconda Choke Wraps the arm around the opponent's neck and applies pressure with the biceps and forearm
Anaconda Choke from the Back Executes the choke from the back position, trapping the opponent's arm
Anaconda Choke from the Front Headlock Sets up the choke from a front headlock position, using the opponent's momentum to apply pressure

Other Submissions

Exploring the remaining submissions in MMA/UFC history, notable techniques include the arm triangle choke, triangle choke, D'Arce choke, and anaconda choke variations. These submissions have been utilized by fighters throughout the years to secure victories and demonstrate their mastery of grappling techniques.

  • Arm Triangle Choke: A blood choke that applies pressure to the opponent's carotid arteries, causing them to lose consciousness.
  • Triangle Choke: Utilizes the legs to trap the opponent's neck, cutting off blood flow and forcing a submission.
  • D'Arce Choke: A variation of the arm triangle choke, known for its effectiveness when executed by fighters with long arms.
  • Anaconda Choke: Involves threading the arm under the opponent's neck and armpit, creating immense pressure and forcing a tap out.

These submissions serve as defensive techniques that allow fighters to turn the tide of a match and escape from disadvantageous positions. They require technical proficiency and precise execution, showcasing the skill and expertise of the fighters.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Success Rate of the Rear-Naked Choke in Mma/Ufc?

The success rate of the rear-naked choke in MMA/UFC is high due to its effectiveness in cutting off blood flow to the brain. Variations of the guillotine choke are also commonly used, making it a versatile submission technique.

How Does the Guillotine Differ From the Rear-Naked Choke in Terms of Technique?

The guillotine differs from the rear-naked choke in technique by utilizing a front headlock position and applying pressure to the opponent's windpipe. Common mistakes in executing the armbar submission include improper positioning and insufficient control of the opponent's arm.

Are There Any Notable Fighters Known for Their Expertise in the Armbar Submission?

There are several notable fighters known for their expertise in the armbar submission, including Ronda Rousey and Demian Maia. To defend against the armbar, fighters often employ techniques such as stacking, hand fighting, and creating angles to escape the submission.

Can the Arm Triangle Choke Be Applied From Any Position, or Are There Specific Setups Required?

The arm triangle choke can be applied from various positions, such as side control, mount, or even from the bottom. However, specific setups are required to effectively secure the submission. Common mistakes include improper head positioning and lack of control over the opponent's arm.

Are There Any Specific Strategies or Techniques That Fighters Use to Defend Against the Triangle Choke?

When defending against the triangle choke, fighters employ various strategies such as posture control, hand fighting, and positioning. Common mistakes include leaving the arm vulnerable and failing to create space to relieve pressure on the neck.


In conclusion, the world of MMA and the UFC has seen a plethora of submission techniques utilized throughout its history. The rear-naked choke stands out as the most superior and widely utilized submission due to its ability to render opponents unconscious by restricting blood flow to the brain.

However, other submissions such as the guillotine, armbar, and blood chokes like the arm triangle and triangle choke have also proven to be highly effective.

One interesting statistic is that 48% of UFC fights have ended in submission, highlighting the importance and prevalence of these techniques in the sport.

Mike Williams
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