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With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from December 2018: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for December.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
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Anthony Rocco Martin def. Jake Matthews at UFC Fight Night 142
Anthony Rocco Martin (15-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) backed up his pre-fight trash talk against Jake Matthews (13-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) with a slick third-round submission victory in the welterweight bout.
Martin talked a big game prior to the fight, and for the most part he delivered. Matthews was able to score a knockdown during a crazy exchange in the first round, but after surviving he fought his fight. In the third round, Martin caught Matthews in an anaconda choke and used a devastating squeeze to finish the fight.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane def. Valerie Letourneau at Bellator 213
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (9-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) kept her perfect career record and her Bellator belt with an impressive performance on home soil, submitting Valerie Letourneau (10-7 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), who on paper was her toughest foe to date.
After threatening with other submissions, Macfarlane turned to an arm and then a triangle choke in the third round. Letourneau showed resiliency in battling to get free, but Macfarlane was determined to finish. A barrage of elbows followed, and Macfarlane continued to crank on the triangle choke until the pressure was too much and Letoruneau tapped.
Ryan Hall def. B.J. Pen at UFC 232
A momentary lapse from UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn (16-13-2 MMA, 12-12-2 UFC) allowed Ryan Hall (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) to secure his signature submission in a painful manner.
After a few early flops failed, Hall dove into position with an Iminari roll and secured an inside heel hook. The tap from former UFC lightweight and welterweight champ Penn was almost instantaneous, and the fact he’d never tapped out in an MMA fight before made it all the more surprising.
Michael Chiesa def. Carlos Condit at UFC 232
Michael Chiesa (15-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) made a successful welterweight debut when he submitted Carlos Condit (30-13 MMA, 7-9 UFC) with wrenching submission that initially looked like it had done serious damage to “The Natural Born Killer.”
After missing weight for his previous bout at lightweight, Chiesa moved up a weight class and submitted former interim UFC titleholder Condit with an expertly-applied one-arm kimura in the second round, getting him off to a strong start in his new weight class.
Yuki Motoya def. Justin Scoggins at Rizin FF 14
Japanese veteran Yuki Motoya (23-5) spoiled the post-UFC debut of nine-time octagon veteran Justin Scoggins (11-6) with a rarely seen submission. After some interesting exchanges on the feet to open the contest, Scoggins elected to take the fight to the floor. Unfortunately, it would be his undoing.
Motoya was able to work in a tight-looking triangle choke while working from his back. Scoggins defended well, but Motoya released the figure-four and went to the scissors attack, locking his hands up top and squeezing for the tap via teepee choke.
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Chiesa may have worn an extra 15 pounds in the octagon, but on the canvas, he was as heavy as ever.
Chiesa took ex-interim champ Condit down early and often before securing a submission in the second round.
The fight was called off just 56 seconds into the second round as Condit tapped to a kimura. Although he set it up with two arms, Chiesa only needed one and a posted leg to contort the ex-champ’s arm to a painful angle. Condit was visibly hurt afterward, though he tried to shake it off.
Both men were looking for redemption coming into the fight. Chiesa had missed weight for a lightweight fight with ex-champ Anthony Pettis in July and afterward vowed never to fight at 155 pounds. Condit, who in April returned from retirement, was in a freefall with five straight losses.
Condit made Chiesa’s advance difficult with combinations in opening exchanges. It wasn’t long, however, before he landed on his back.
Chiesa wasn’t necessarily out of danger when they hit the canvas. He struggled to contain Condit’s long legs, and an armbar attempt looked as though it may have hyperextended his elbow. But even when Condit stood up, he marched back into the clinch and took the fight back down. A scramble for an ankle lock got Condit out of trouble once again.
Only 30 seconds into the middle frame, Chiesa had again grounded Condit. From there, he moved quickly into the position that produced the finishing move.
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