Joint lock submissions and strangulations/chokes account for a large number of finishes in mixed martial arts (MMA). The percentage of UFC matches ending in submission between 1993 and 2002 was 30%. This study aimed to review the statistics from recent MMA events. 

The fight outcomes from a total of 1903 bouts from 167 UFC events between 2014 and 2017 were analysed. From this data, it was observed that 47.7% (male)/62.9% (female) of bouts ended in decision, 17.3(male)21.1%(female) by submission, and 32.2%(male)/15.4%(female) by KO/TKO. The most submissions occurred in the male fly, bantam and light and female straw weight divisions and the least number occurred in the male heavyweight division. 

Chokes were the most common method of submission, the most frequent technique being the rear nake choke. The most common joint targeted for submission was the elbow, followed by the shoulder. 

This study adds to the existing body of literature pertaining to submissions in MMA.

#thescienceofstriking #mma #mixedmartialarts #submissions #brazilianjiujitsu #bjj #grappling #ufc #onefc #bellator

[1] B. Follmer, L. Vidal Andreato, and V. Silveira Coswig, ‘Combat-ending submission techinques in modern mixed martial arts’, Ido Mov. Cult. J. Martial Arts Anthropol., vol. 21, no. 2, 2021.

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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