Some of the biggest UFC fights of 2022 ended in some of the nastiest submission techniques of the year inside the Octagon.
Ahead of the UFC Honors ceremonies, the promotion has released the nominees for the 2022 Submission of the Year Award. Three of the four nominees for this year’s SOTY award took place in UFC title fights.
While most casual MMA fans may prefer to watch a backyard brawl in the Octagon rather than a technical grappling match, some of the biggest wins of 2022 came by tapping out an opponent.
Let’s take a look at the 2022 SOTY nominees.
Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira
Islam Makhachev brought the UFC lightweight title back to Dagestan by choking out the promotion’s all-time submission leader.
Makhachev dominated Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight belt at UFC 280. He secured the win in Round 2 with an arm-triangle choke that Oliveira quickly tapped to.
Makhachev will face Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.
Jéssica Andrade vs. Amanda Lemos
Jéssica Andrade returned to the strawweight division with a rare standing arm-triangle submission of Amanda Lemos.
Andrade, after three consecutive fights at flyweight, returned to strawweight to face the surging contender Lemos. It didn’t take long for her to impose her will as she made history with the first standing arm-triangle finish in the UFC.
Andrade will face Lauren Murphy at UFC 283 next month.
Jiří Procházka vs. Glover Teixeira
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka pulled off one of the greatest comeback wins in the division’s history at UFC 275.
Just minutes away from likely losing to Glover Teixeira, Procházka secured a late takedown and rear-naked choke. He was supposed to face Teixeira in a rematch at UFC 282 before vacating the belt due to injury.
Procházka is expected to return by the end of 2023.
Zhang Weili vs. Carla Esparza
Zhang Weili fought her way back to the strawweight title shot after back-to-back losses to Rose Namajunas. She made the most of the opportunity by smothering Carla Esparza with a rear-naked choke.
Weili, mostly known for his iron hands and elite striking, shocked the masses by outgrappling the wrestling-heavy Esparza. In the second round at UFC 281, she got Esparza’s back before taking out the champion.
Weili, as she begins her second stint as strawweight champion, awaits her first title defense in 2023.
Check out the UFC’s full ‘Submission of the Year’ compilation below.