In the previous editions of this series looking at the best tapouts in UFC history, we took a look at the best chokes, armlocks and leglocks. Variations of those three holds are the most common tapouts in MMA, but there are also a handful of more unique submissions out there.
Those submission holds have a far lower percentage of success rate and aren’t attempted all that often, but this makes them high risk, high reward type moves. Often more flashy than your common rear naked choke or armbar, the following submissions are so unique some have only been seen in the UFC once.
Here are 5 of the best unique tapouts in UFC history.
#1: Twister – Chan Sung Jung vs. Leonard Garcia – UFC Fight Night 24 – 03/24/2011
Popularised by Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system, the Twister is a move as nasty – and flashy – as it sounds. Essentially, it’s a spinal lock that sees the attacker force an opponent’s head towards his shoulder while locking down the lower body – causing lateral hyperflexion of the cervical spine.
One of the most dangerous moves in the world of grappling, it’s thankfully as rare as it is deadly and has only been used in the UFC to date on one occasion.
When a fight between Chan Sung Jung – ‘The Korean Zombie’ – and Leonard Garcia was announced for UFC Fight Night 24, the majority of the fanbase were massively excited. This was to be a rematch of one of the most exciting MMA fights ever; Garcia and Jung had gone to war in a fight worthy of a Rocky movie in 2010, with Garcia taking a split decision although most felt it should’ve gone the other way.
In the rematch, Jung was determined to prove he was the better man, and he ended up doing it in the most incredible way possible. Rather than risk trading with Garcia on the feet again, he chose to take the fight to the ground where he largely out-hustled the American, and in the second round he was able to secure back control. At first he controlled Garcia with both of his legs, but when ‘Bad Boy’ rolled, Jung instead switched to a triangle around the left leg instead.
With Garcia’s body under firm control, ‘The Korean Zombie’ then locked his arms around the head of his opponent, avoiding his right arm, and pulled it to the side, stretching him at an unnatural angle. With just seconds to go in the round, Garcia tapped out in clear pain.
Considering the greatness of their first fight, it seemed highly unlikely that the rematch could be as memorable – but with one of the best and most unique submissions in UFC history, Jung ensured that it would be. Most fighters wouldn’t even attempt such a move.