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What Are The Most Common BJJ Choke Submissions In UFC?

What Are The Most Common BJJ Choke Submissions In UFC?

If you're an enthusiast of mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), then you already know the sheer thrill that comes with watching athletes go toe-to-toe, utilizing their technical prowess to dominate their opponents.

“In UFC championships there's nothing quite as impressive as a perfectly executed choke submission.”

However, with so many different choke techniques out there, how can you know which one is the most effective submission technique to execute in UFC? In this technical READ, we'll take a closer look at the most common BJJ choke submissions used in the UFC and break down their effectiveness, as well as provide proper guidance on how to properly apply them. Additionally, we'll delve into the crucial role of executing these submissions and offer insight into how to defend against them.

By the end of this article, you'll not only have a deep understanding of the most popular BJJ chokes in the UFC but also know the pathway to master these techniques and potentially utilize them in your own training. So let's get ready to explore the fascinating world of chokes in UFC, and discover the techniques that can take your fighting skills to the next level.

1. Introduction to BJJ Choke Submissions

BJJ submissions have become a major part of MMA and the UFC. These are techniques used to force an opponent to submit by choking them unconscious or forcing them to tap out. There are various BJJ choke submissions in UFC, and each one has different advantages for athletes.

1.1. What is a Choke Submission?

Before diving into the specifics of BJJ choke submissions, it’s important to understand how they work.

“A choke submission is when a fighter uses his limbs or chokehold techniques to strangle his/her opponent by limiting the amount of oxygen or disrupting the blood supply to the brain.”

The most common choke submissions used in UFC are Rear-Naked Choke, Guillotine, Cross Collar, North-South, Neck Crank, Triangle, Arm Triangle, and Anaconda Chokes. Let’s look at each of these individual chokes and how they are applied to the octagon.

2. Rear-Naked Choke

The Rear-Naked Choke (RNC) also known as Hadaka-Jime is one of the most popular BJJ and MMA chokes used in UFC. The term “Rear” reflects its execution from the back and “Naked” reflects that it does not require BJJ Gi for execution. RNC submission is performed by wrapping your arm around the opponent’s neck from behind and tightening your biceps with your other hand. This can be used as either a blood choke or an air choke, depending on how it is applied. To execute a blood choke, the fighter must apply pressure to the carotid arteries, which will cause the opponents to pass out due to a lack of blood or oxygen.

However, there are different variations of RNC, that have their own black-and-white sides. It’s hard to escape some variations of the rear naked choke including the ground-based execution. 

2.1. How to Apply the Rear-Naked Choke

The rear-naked choke is a highly effective BJJ submission that can quickly end a fight if applied correctly. Here are the steps to properly apply the rear-naked choke:

  • Start by crawling back to your opponent’s back with your chest against their back. Wrap one arm around their neck and place your other hand on top of that arm.
  • The tricky part is to secure both hooks in with both knees.
  • Clasp your hands together, with one hand holding the bicep of your other arm and the other hand holding your forearm.
  • Pull your elbows back and squeeze your arms together. This will apply pressure to your opponent's neck and restrict their blood flow and breathing.
  • If your opponent is still resisting, you may need to adjust the choke by repositioning your hands or adjusting the pressure on his neck.
  • Once you have secured the accurate positioning, hold it for several seconds until your opponent taps out or becomes unconscious. Be sure to retain the choke even if your opponent attempts to escape by rolling or grabbing your hands.

2.2. Tips to Perfectly Execute Rear Naked Choke

For handsome execution, it’s necessary to practice the technique with a partner to ensure the accuracy and validity of the submission. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity as you become more comfortable with the submission. Remember to always prioritize safety and tap out if you feel uncomfortable or unable to continue.

3. Guillotine Choke

The guillotine choke or “Front Naked Choke” is another common choke submission used in UFC. This submission is performed by wrapping your arms around the opponent’s neck from the front and grasping your biceps with your other hand. This particular choke is often referred to as a “head and arm” choke because the fighter’s arm is wrapped around the opponent’s neck and their head is on the same side as their arm.

3.1. How to Apply the Guillotine Choke

To apply the choke, use your arms to pull down your opponent’s head towards your body while strangling the opponent’s head, squeezing your biceps and applying pressure to their neck while pushing the neck downwards. This will compress their trachea and carotid arteries, limiting the amount of oxygen and blood.

The guillotine choke is also classified as a wind or blood choke and its classification depends upon the amount of pressure exerted on either the trachea or the arteries.

3.2. Tips to Perfectly Execute Guillotine Choke

  • To properly apply the guillotine choke, it is essential to have proper body positioning and control.
  • Keep your hips close to your opponent to maintain leverage and avoid losing the submission.
  • Practice transitioning between your arms to maintain the choke if your opponent attempts to escape.
  • Like any other BJJ choke submission, it is crucial to apply the guillotine choke with the appropriate amount of pressure and control to avoid any unnecessary injury to your opponent.

4. North-South Choke

4.1. What is the North-South Choke?

The North-South Choke is a highly effective submission technique used in grappling and UFC. The mechanics of executing a North-South choke involves skillfully reducing the space between you and your opponent while simultaneously applying a significant amount of pressure onto the front of their neck, effectively limiting their ability to breathe and resist. It is applied when both opponents are laying on the ground. So, the North South Choke is one of the purest Grappling chokes.

Many people assume that the North-South choke is a technique only for strong and powerful grapplers. However, this is a misconception. Even smaller competitors like Marcelo Garcia have successfully used this technique, proving that it is not solely reliant on strength.

4.2. How to Apply the North-South Choke?

To perform the North-South Choke, secure the north-south position over your opponent's torso. From there, wrap one arm around their neck in a Reverse Guillotine Position. The hand of the attacking arm should be grabbing the opposite shoulder of the opponent. The other arm can be placed on the opposite side of the neck or on the chest for balance.

Then apply pressure to the neck of opponents by creating a lever with their own body weight and position, thus cutting off the blood flow to the opponent's brain and forcing them to tap out or become unconscious.

5. Neck Crank

5.1. What is a Neck Crank?

A neck crank is a submission technique that involves applying pressure to the neck, usually by using the arms or legs, to twist the neck muscles until the opponent taps out or escapes the hold. It is a dangerous submission that can cause severe pain, break the spine or even paralysis.

5.2. How to Perform Neck Crank?

The most common way to perform a neck crank is from the back position, where the fighter puts their arms over their opponent's jaw and squeezes while securing both hooks in. This can also be done by using the legs to apply pressure to the neck.

It is important to note that neck cranks are a high-risk submission and should be practiced under the supervision of a trained coach to ensure that they are being executed correctly and safely.

5.3. How to Defend Neck Crank?

The best defense against a neck crank is to avoid getting into a position where your neck is vulnerable. If you are caught in a neck crank, the first thing to do is to try to relieve the pressure on your neck. This can be done by turning your head to the side or tucking your chin to your chest. If you cannot escape the submission, then tapping out is the safest option.

It is important to train with partners who will apply neck cranks safely and to tap out quickly if you feel any pain or discomfort. This will help prevent serious injury and ensure that you can continue to train and roll safely.

6. Triangle Choke

6.1. A Deadly Submission Technique in Martial Arts

The triangle choke is a lethal submission technique that has gained popularity in martial arts, especially Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.

“It involves wrapping your legs around your opponent's neck and arm in a triangular configuration to constrict the blood flow to their brain, forcing them to tap out or causing the referee to stop the fight.”

6.2. How to Perform Triangle Choke

To execute the triangle choke, you need to first use the guard position to prevent your attacker from punching you. Then, you need to follow these steps:

  • Pin one of your attacker's arms to the mat while keeping their pinned arm close to your chest.
  • Bring one leg over their shoulder and place your foot on their opposite hip.
  • Next, wrap your other leg around your opponent's neck and place it over the leg that's behind their neck.
  • Finally, grasp the back of your attacker's head and pull their head forward while squeezing your legs together.
  • It's essential to apply the correct amount of pressure while performing the triangle choke to avoid injuring your partner. Therefore, it's recommended to practice this technique with a partner under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

7. Arm Triangle Choke

7.1. A Powerful Submission Choke in MMA

The arm triangle choke, also known as the head and arm choke or side choke, is a highly effective submission move commonly used in MMA fights. It involves trapping an opponent's arm and applying pressure to their neck, cutting off blood flow to the brain, and causing them to submit and unconscious.

7.2. How to Perform Arm Triangle Choke

To perform the arm-triangle choke, start by securing an overlook on your opponent's arm and then placing your other hand on the back of their head. Next, slide your free arm underneath your opponent's head and across their neck, grabbing your own bicep. Your opponent's arm should be trapped between your chest and arm, effectively cutting off the blood flow to their brain.

7.3. Tips to Perfectly Execute Arm Triangle Choke

The key to a successful arm triangle choke is to have the correct body positioning. Begin by being perpendicular to your opponent's body with your hips close to theirs. As you slide your free arm underneath their head, make sure to position your body correctly so that your chest is against their trapped arm. This will help to apply pressure to their carotid artery and restrict blood flow to the brain, leading to a quick submission.

8. Anaconda Choke

8.1. What is Anaconda Choke?

The anaconda choke is a submission hold commonly used in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). It’s a deadly variation of Arm-triangle choke.

It involves trapping an opponent's arm between your legs and wrapping your other arm around their neck from the side to cut off their blood and oxygen supply, leading to a loss of consciousness or a tap-out.

8.2. How to Perform Anaconda Choke?

Executing an anaconda choke requires proper positioning and technique. Here are the steps to perform the anaconda choke:

  • Get your opponent onto their side or back, and then trap one of their arms between your legs.
  • Wrap your free arm around your opponent's neck from the side, with your bicep against their throat and your forearm across their neck.
  • Then clasp your hands together behind your opponent's neck, locking your arms in place and applying pressure to their neck.
  • After that squeeze your arms and legs together to increase the pressure on your opponent's neck, cutting off their blood and oxygen supply.
  • Hold the choke until your opponent taps out, loses consciousness, or until the referee stops the fight.

It is essential to practice the anaconda choke with a partner and under the guidance of a trained coach to avoid injuries and improve your technique.

8.3. How to Defend Anaconda Choke?

Defending against an anaconda choke requires quick reactions and a good understanding of the technique. Here are some ways to defend against an anaconda choke:

  • Posture: Keep your head and neck upright, and your back straight to make it harder for your opponent to wrap their arm around your neck.
  • Hand Fighting: When your opponent attempts to trap your arm between their legs, use your other arm to hand-fight and prevent them from securing the hold.
  • Escape: If your opponent secures the choke, try to escape by rolling or turning to your side or back, or by using a "turtle" defense to protect your neck.
  • Counter-Attack: If all else fails, you can try to counter-attack by grabbing your opponent's leg or attacking their exposed arm to force them to release the choke.

9. Historic Fights of UFC Finished by Choke

9.1. Anderson Silva Vs. Chael Sonnen

Silva vs. Sonnen at UFC 117 was a highly anticipated middleweight title match in which Sonnen dominated the first four rounds with strikes and a strong ground game. However, toward the end of the fourth round, Silva landed vicious elbows, and in the fifth round, he caught Sonnen in a triangle choke, forcing him to tap out.

The match was initially controversial, but replays confirmed the referee's decision. Silva's impressive comeback and choke submission victory solidified his place as one of the greatest MMA fighters.

9.2. Jason Delucia Vs. Scott Baker

The year was 1994, and the UFC was just beginning to establish itself as a legitimate fighting organization. UFC 2 was a tournament-style event with a whopping $60,000 prize for the winner. In the opening round, Royce Gracie's training partner, Remco Pardoel Delucia, stepped into the octagon against Bert "The Machine" Baker.

The match was intense from the start, with Delucia quickly locking Baker into a triangle choke. In the bout, Delucia's execution was nothing short of legendary. He held the choke for nearly half a minute, utilizing his entire body to increase the pressure and intensity of the hold.

Finally, after almost a minute, Baker tapped out, and the crowd erupted in cheers. However, the victory was not without its cost. Delucia himself was struggling to get back on his feet, and Baker had passed out from the chokehold.

This historic choke submission was a defining moment in UFC history, showcasing the power and effectiveness of the triangle choke in the hands of a skilled fighter like Jason Delucia. The match set the stage for countless other memorable choke submissions in the years and became a defining moment in martial arts.

9.3. Donald Cerrone Vs. Evan Dunham

The UFC 167 bout between Cerrone and his opponent was a historic moment that showcased the power of the triangle choke submission. In between the second round, Cerrone executed a well-timed takedown, finding himself on the bottom, but quickly maneuvering into the winning triangle. Cerrone knew he had secured the submission and lobbied for Submission of the Night honors.

After the win, Cerrone expressed his excitement for the extra $50,000 that came with the award, proving that the triangle choke submission can not only secure victory but also bring in cash prizes. This bout will go down in history as a testament to Cerrone's skill and expertise in the art of MMA, and the power of the triangle choke submission in the world of martial arts.

9.4. Alvin Robinson Vs. Nate Diaz

In his third UFC fight at UFC Fight Night 12, Diaz faced a tough challenge from ground specialist Alvin Robinson. Robinson proved his skill with an incredibly deep guillotine after a couple of Diaz takedowns, but the Stockton native refused to go down easily. Diaz survived the guillotine and began working on his own submission attempts, never giving up despite the danger he faced.

Diaz's perseverance paid off in the end when he executed a slick triangle choke to secure the victory. This bout will be remembered as a historic moment in MMA, showcasing Diaz's skill and determination in the face of adversity. It is a testament to Diaz's expertise in the art of MMA and his ability to adapt and overcome any challenge that comes his way.

10. FAQs

10.1. Which Submissions Are Banned In UFC?

The unified rules of MMA which are followed by UFC prohibit certain types of submissions that are considered dangerous or potentially lethal. These include strikes to the spine, small joint manipulation, and any moves that target the spine and back of the head.

In addition, any submission that involves twisting or wrenching of the knee or ankle joint is also banned in UFC and causes disqualification of the fighters.

10.2. Who Is The King Of Submission In UFC?

Charles Oliveira is known as the king of submission in his UFC career of his record-breaking 16 submissions, showcasing his finesse and precision in executing submission moves.

10.3. What Are The Most Effective Submissions In UFC?

There is no single submission that can be considered the most efficient in UFC, as each fighter's technique and style varies. However, some of the most commonly used and effective submissions in UFC include the rear-naked choke, guillotine choke, armbar, and triangle choke.

10.4. Which Is The Most Rarest Submission In UFC?

The Omoplata submission is considered one of the rarest submission techniques in the UFC, primarily due to its high level of difficulty. This move is rarely executed inside the octagon, as it requires advanced skills and techniques to master.

10.5. Which Is The Quickest Submission In The History Of UFC?

During the UFC 184 bout in 2015, Ronda Rousey submitted her opponent Zingano in a remarkable 14 seconds, marking the fastest submission in the history of the UFC. 

11. Conclusion

In the high-intensity world of UFC, mastering submission techniques means the difference between victory and defeat. Amongst the various techniques, BJJ chokes are some of the most effective submissions used in Mix Martial Arts. The rear-naked choke, neck crank, arm triangle, and guillotine chokes are among the most common chokes used in UFC.

To execute these choke effectively inside the octagon, it is important to practice with a proficient mentor, focusing on the right technique and pressure applied to the trachea and carotid arteries. These chokes can be mastered and become a powerful tool for achieving victory in the Octagon. So, if you're looking to elevate your game in UFC, mastering these BJJ chokes is an essential part of your training.

Photo Credit: @Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

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