With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best submissions from August 2020. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for August.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
Nominee: Jennifer Maia def. Joanne Calderwood, UFC on ESPN+ 31
Jennifer Maia (18-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) made a statement as a force to be reckoned with in the women’s flyweight division when she submitted Joanne Calderwood (14-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) with a textbook armbar in the first round at UFC on ESPN+ 31.
Maia had her way in the standup game early, which forced Calderwood to work kicks in defense. Maia threw a kick of her own, which Calderwood caught and turned into a takedown. But Maia expertly turned the position into an armbar and left Calderwood no choice but to tap. The win got Maia a shot at Valentina Shevchenko’s title at UFC 255 in November.
Nominee: Virna Jandiroba def. Felice Herrig, at UFC 252
Virna Jandiroba spoiled Felice Herrig’s return to the UFC with a big win at UFC 252. Herrig (14-9 MMA, 5-4 UFC) was returning from an ACL injury, but had that return spoiled by former Invicta FC champion Jandiroba’s (16-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) stellar ground game and an armbar submission less than two minutes into their fight.
Jandiroba shot for an immediate takedown to start the fight and put Herrig on her back. She passed guard and applied heavy top pressure. Herrig scrambled, but quickly found herself caught back up. Jandiroba got to full mount, then took Herrig’s back, then transitioned to an armbar. It was the first time Herrig had been finished in her career, which dates back to 2009.
Nominee: John Salter def. Andrew Kapel, at Bellator 244
John Salter entered Bellator 244 looking to stake his claim to a middleweight title shot. Another submission win should help his case. Salter (18-4 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) had little trouble with Andrew Kapel (15-7 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and tapped him with an arm-triangle choke in the third round.
Kapel came out aggressive in the final frame, likely down two rounds to none. But Salter took the fight to the canvas again, got to full mount for the third time, then worked for an arm-triangle that eluded him in Round 2 to get the tap at the 3:11 mark of the final round.
Nominee: Mallory Martin def. Hannah Cifers, UFC on ESPN+ 33
Mallory Martin (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) went ballistic with primal screams rarely heard in a fight after she tapped Hannah Cifers (10-7 MMA, 2-5 UFC) in the second round at UFC on ESPN+ 33. It was hard to blame her.
Martin was given a severe 10-8 beatdown from Cifers in Round 1 and was fortunate the referee let her survive the onslaught to see a second round. In Round 2, though, Martin listened to the advice of her coaches and got the fight to the canvas. She quickly took Cifers’ back and locked in a rear-naked choke to earn a submission win at the 1:33 mark of the round for a major comeback.
Nominee: Sean Brady def. Christian Aguilera, UFC on ESPN+ 33
Sean Brady (13-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) kept his undefeated record intact with a second-round submission win over Christian Aguilera (14-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC on ESPN+ 33. And it was a scary-looking finish.
Brady got to full mount, then dropped a guillotine choke on Aguilera. He appeared to try to squirm free, but quickly went limp, forcing the referee to step in, and causing a disturbing-looking aftermath.
The Winner: Sean Brady
UFC analyst Paul Felder knew what was coming because he’s felt Brady’s squeeze. When his teammate applied a mounted guillotine choke on Aguilera, Felder knew it was the end.
As slick and quick as Brady looked with the submission, it was his first in nearly three years and just his third as a pro fighter. But it kept him unbeaten at 13-0, and almost certainly got the attention of future welterweight opponents in the UFC.
Now he wants a step up in competition.
“I’m 3-0 in the UFC now and I want to start getting up there. I’ve beat three tough guys and got one finish now. I just want keep climbing that ladder. That’s what I’m going to keep doing, no matter who they send me. I’ve never turned anybody down. I definitely want a bigger name to show people what I’m capable of.”
If @SeanBradyMMA gets a hold of your neck, it’s over.
Action is live on @ESPN & #ESPNPlus pic.twitter.com/Dzl4GJ7fuH
— UFC (@ufc) August 29, 2020