With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best submissions from November 2020: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for November.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.
1. Alexandr Romanov def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC on ESPN+ 40
Unbeaten heavyweight Alexandr Romanov made some history in his second octagon appearance against Marcos Rogerio de Lima (17-7-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC).
A rare forearm choke was the pathway to the finish. After taking the fight to the ground in the opening seconds, Romanov overwhelmed de Lima on the mat. He did some good work from half guard with the strikes, then pressed the forearm into de Lima’s throat until the Brazilian went to sleep.
A forearm choke for Moldova’s own!
🇲🇩 Alexandr Romanov showcased high level grappling to stay undefeated!
[ #UFCVegas13 continues LIVE on #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/VsnFFnrNiV
— UFC (@ufc) November 8, 2020
2. A.J. McKee def. Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 253
A.J. McKee (17-0 MMA, 17-0 BMMA) advanced to the final of the featherweight grand prix when he beat former champ Darrion Caldwell (15-4 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) inside one round.
McKee pulled off a highly unorthodox neck crank on Caldwell – which he later labeled the “McKee-otine” – in just 71 seconds. He made it to the final round of the 16-man tournament, where he’ll have a shot at the title and $1 million.
WHAT WAS THIS?!?@AJMcKee101 moved to 17-0 when he tapped Darrion Caldwell with a stunning submission seconds into their @BellatorMMA grand prix semifinal. #Bellator253 | More: https://t.co/rgJdi3atZw pic.twitter.com/HWszSDWgym
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) November 20, 2020
3. Deiveson Figueiredo def. Alex Perez at UFC 255
Deiveson Figueiredo’s (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) first UFC flyweight title defense against Alex Perez (24-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was quick and successful, courtesy of a slick guillotine choke.
Early on, Figueiredo and Perez exchanged hard strikes on the feet. When Perez caught a Figueiredo kick, the champion pulled for a leg submission. When Perez tried to pounce on his downed opponent, he rolled right into Figueiredo’s guard and was swiftly choked out.
4. Nate Maness def. Luke Sanders at UFC on ESPN 18
Nate Maness (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) rallied for a dramatic come-from-behind finish of Luke Sanders (13-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in their 140-pound catchweight fight.
Sitting as a -600 favorite in the live odds after a strong first round, Sanders got caught with a big shot that staggered him. Maness got the fight to the ground, quickly moved to mount, took Sanders’ back and forced the tap from the rear-naked choke.
5. Anthony Smith def. Devin Clark at UFC on ESPN 18
Anthony Smith (34-16 MMA, 9-6 UFC) got back on track with a definitive performance and a finish of Devin Clark (12-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) in the first round of their light heavyweight headliner.
Smith surprised Clark out of the cage by securing a takedown within the first 15 seconds of the bout. They battled for position on the mat, and the result was Clark securing top control. Smith quickly advanced into a triangle choke, though, and forced Clark to tap out.
The winner: A.J. McKee
In case there was any doubt left at all, McKee is legit. And you can remove the phrase “prospect” before his name once and for all.
McKee found himself facing both a former Bellator bantamweight champion and an NCAA champion wrestler in Caldwell in a high-stakes main event.
And the undefeated McKee wasted little time showing he was up to the biggest challenge of his career in Bellator’s featherweight grand prix in the semifinals. A textbook neck crank got the job done in just 1:11.
That puts McKee in the final against the winner of the other semifinal, between champion Patricio Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez, which will be held at a date to be determined.
Caldwell went to his wrestling early in the fight and scored a takedown, but McKee didn’t panic. He slipped one arm under Caldwell’s, got him to move his head where he wanted it, wrapped up a body triangle, and it was a mere formality from that point on.
“He popped his head off to the side and I locked up the body triangle and I hooked him up deep, and that’s all she wrote,” McKee said post-fight.