#2: Bulldog Choke – Raquel Pennington vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith – UFC 181 – 12/06/2014
A schoolyard bully’s move, the bulldog choke works exactly how you’d probably imagine it to. The attacker applies a side headlock on their opponent, then essentially squeezes the life out of them until they tap out – basically like a guillotine choke with the attacker facing the opposite way. It’s a rare move to see inside the Octagon largely because the side headlock doesn’t allow an attacker to control their opponent’s body in any way. But when it works, it really works.
Surprisingly enough, the bulldog choke was actually used to win a UFC title back in 2001; Carlos Newton used the move to wrest the Welterweight title away from longtime champion Pat Miletich at UFC 31 in what was a major upset, but aesthetically, you can’t beat the version that Bantamweight contender Raquel Pennington used to beat Ashlee Evans-Smith at UFC 181.
After a back-and-forth first round that saw Pennington cut on the forehead, it looked like the fight was heading into the second stanza. But after taking the back of Evans-Smith, Pennington decided to risk a bulldog choke attempt, and with seconds on the clock, she squeezed with all her might on the neck of her opponent.
‘Rocky’ forced Evans-Smith down onto her knees, creating even more leverage, and in an alarming visual moment, the camera picked up a look of sheer bewilderment and terror on the face of ‘Rebel Girl’ as the blood supply to her head was cut off.
Seconds later, Evans-Smith was unconscious and Pennington was declared the winner despite the buzzer sounding to end the round. It remains one of the most violent finishes we’ve seen from a female fighter inside the Octagon, and despite Urijah Faber inexplicably winning via bulldog choke on the same show, Pennington’s version was certainly the superior one.Published 02 Oct 2018, 00:33 IST