With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best submissions from February 2021: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for February.

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


Nominee: Danilo Marques def. Mike Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night 184

Rising light heavyweight Danilo Marques (11-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) put Mike Rodriguez (11-6 MMA, 2-4 UFC) to sleep with just seconds remaining in the second round of their bout.

Marques remained relentless and his ground game approach, eventually secured the back mount on Rodriguez, and sinked in a rear-naked choke. He locked it in, and Rodriguez went out cold before he could tap out.

Nominee: Polyana Viana def. Mallory Martin at UFC 258

Polyana Viana (12-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) got Mallory Martin (7-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) into a tight triangle in the early moments of their strawweight bout, but Martin turned out to be a determined foe and thrashed around like a fish that was hooked to prevent getting reeled in, looking for an escape.

Viana even found herself on the receiving end of a Martin slam. But she held on and transitioned to a picture-perfect armbar. With Martin trapped, and a full two minutes after she was first put in the triangle, she had no choice but to tap just over three minutes after the fight began.

Nominee: Anthony Hernandez def. Rodolfo Vieira at UFC 258

Anthony Hernandez (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) pulled off one of the more unexpected results in recent UFC history when he tapped out ADCC champion Rodolfo Vieira (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

Hernandez was winning the middleweight bout with Vieira on the feet, landing some big shots on the feet to badly hurt his Brazilian foe. Vieira was out of steam and faded badly, opening the door for Hernandez to secure an arm-in guillotine. Vieira tapped out, and viewers were collectively left with their jaws dropped.

Nominee: Julian Marquez def. Maki Pitolo at UFC 258

Maki Pitolo (13-8 MMA, 1-4 UFC) arguably got the better end of the first two rounds of his middleweight fight with Julian Marquez (8-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), both of which were all action.

Then the third round featured wild swing of momentum to Marquez’s favor. Marquez landed a flurry of lefts and rights, then landed a brutal knee to the head in the clinch. Pitolo went for a desperation takedown, but Marquez easily switched position and landed a nifty anaconda choke for the tap.

Nominee: Tom Aspinall def. Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 186

Tom Aspinall continued to show why he might be the next big thing at heavyweight when he took out former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski (30-20 MMA, 19-14 UFC).

After striking in the first round, Aspinall switched it up in the second. He charged and tackled Arlovski to the mat against the fence. Aspinall quickly moved to the back where he locked in a rear-naked choke. Within seconds, Arlovski tapped, marking just the second time in 20 losses that he gave up a submission.

The winner

The winner: Anthony Hernandez

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Hernandez flipped the script on Vieira at UFC 258.

Hernandez proved the oddsmakers wrong when he submitted Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Vieira with a guillotine choke at 1:53 of Round 2.

Despite the win, it wasn’t totally smooth sailing for Hernandez. Early in Round 1, things looked grim when he was swiftly taken down and mounted by Vieira. With both men not yet slippery from sweat, Vieira worked for submission after submission.

For minutes, Hernandez avoided the BJJ blackbelt’s efforts and eventually rose back up to his feet. Once there, Vieira was gassed. His punches were few and far between. When he threw, he was labored. Hernandez capitalized on the opportunity and devastated Vieira on the feet.

Vieira survived to see Round 2, but he didn’t last long. Following an onslaught of more significant strikes on the feet, the fight hit the canvas. Hernandez worked for an anaconda choke but flipped it to an arm-in guillotine. Bloody and suffocated, Vieira tapped.

Hernandez by submission was a +2200 underdog bet across major online sportsbooks, according to BestFightOdds. Simply to win, Hernandez was a +373 underdog.