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MMAjunkie’s ‘Submission of the Month’ for January: An arm-popping armbar

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from January 2019: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for January.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

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The Nominees

Chance Rencountre def. Kyle Stewart at UFC on ESPN+ 1

After faltering in a short-notice fight in his octagon debut this past year, Chance Rencountre (13-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was able to take advantage of short-notice opponent Kyle Stewart (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with a first-round submission victory.

After exchanging some strikes, Rencountre moved in and scored a successful takedown. From there, he advanced to Stewart’s back and locked in a fight-ending rear-naked choke less than three minutes into the fight.

Cory Sandhagen def. Mario Bautista at UFC on ESPN+ 1

Cory Sandhagen (10-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) easily dispatched short-notice replacement opponent Mario Bautista (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with a first-round submission in their bantamweight matchup.

Sandhagen had no problem being on bottom and managed to transition into a slick armbar that left Bautista no choice but to tap out at the 3:31 mark of Round 1 to remain unbeaten inside the octagon.

Glover Teixeira def. Karl Roberson at UFC on ESPN+ 1

Glover Teixeira (28-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) looked like he would be the recipient of an upset from a short-notice opponent moving up a weight class, then he changed the momentum of the fight to submit Karl Roberson (7-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC).

After taking some heavy damage from Roberson, Teixeira turned the tide and got on top. He hurt Roberson with some big punches before locking in his famous arm-triangle choke to force the tap just over three minutes into the fight.

Instagram Photo

Paige VanZant def. Rachael Ostovich at UFC on ESPN+ 1

Paige VanZant (8-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) successfully returned from her injury layoff when she defeated Rachael Ostovich (4-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) by second-round submission in their women’s flyweight showdown.

Ostovich was the one to threaten VanZant with dangerous grappling positions in the first round. She tried to continue that in the second, but VanZant found a moment to capitalize and transition into an armbar to pop Ostovich’s arm and get the tap.

Adel Altamimi def. Brandon McMahan at Bellator 214

With Chris Pratt in his corner for the fight, Adel Altamimi (8-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) put on the most significant performance of his career when he wrecked Brandon McMahan (3-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a first-round submission.

Altamimi needed just 76 seconds to find an McMahon’s arm and lock it up it up tight from an unpleasant angle. McMahan grimaced from pain as his arm was twisted and was left no choice but to tap out to Altamimi.

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The Winner: Paige VanZant

VanZant spent most of her time in the cage with Ostovich playing defense, but she made the most of her brief bursts of offense.

After being taken down repeatedly by Ostovich in the first round and early in the second, VanZant took advantage of a lapse by Ostovich to seize back control and then transition to an armbar to force the tap at the 1:50 mark of Round 2.

Ostovich clearly wanted to contest this fight on the mat, and she was more than capable of getting it there. She flung VanZant onto her back with relative ease in the first round, and continued to do so even after narrowly fending off a series of leg lock attempts from VanZant.

But one mistake early in the second was all it took for VanZant to take her back and then quickly go to work, peppering Ostovich with punches to the side of the head that forced her to roll and look for an escape out the back door.

As Ostovich tried to slip out, that’s when VanZant caught her arm and went belly-down with the armbar, prompting a quick tap from Ostovich to finish the fight.

The win for VanZant snaps a two-fight losing streak, giving her a victory for the first time since 2016. Ostovich has now lost two straight, and three of her last four.

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