The Submissions of UFC Vegas 8 - Smith vs. Rakic

The Submissions of UFC Vegas 8 – Smith vs. Rakic

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic (UFC Vegas 8) had some really interesting prelims. Interesting because they brought four submissions in a row, two of which earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses. Mallory Martin for her comeback victory choke in round two of her bout against Hannah Cifers where she nearly lost in the first round. And, Sean Brady’s super slick one-armed guillotine where he submitted Christian Aguilera.

Martin’s submission win is well deserved as she was seemingly losing in the first round. She has dealt with a knee injury that took her away from the sport for a bit so maybe the cobwebs were still there. Although Cifers did seem to be swinging for the fences, round one had Martin retreating but she quickly remedied that in round two. Rear-naked chokes happen a lot in MMA so her comeback with the finish brought her the bonus.  Not much to breakdown here, once she got Cifers to the ground she wore her down with strikes and went in for the finish; see her handiwork below:

Brady’s win is a little more unique because fans are not normally treated to a one-armed submission. During the broadcast, Paul Felder had shared that not only had he trained with Brady but had felt the squeeze of his chokes. In the grappling community, seasoned grapplers know that everybody has their “go-to” submissions and for Brady, this seems to be one of them.  He admitted as much during his post-fight interview in the ESPN broadcast and said he has even tapped “high-level black belts” with the same submission.

Brady was fitting in the choke towards the end of round one.  For those that have the chance to re-watch the bout, when he has Aguilera against the cage in his corner he is already fitting in his hand around Aguilera’s chin (commonly referred to as a chinstrap grip). So, in round two when Brady attempts to catch Aguilera in a traditional guillotine, Aguilera attempts to escape. Brady already having his arm wrapped around Aguilera’s head follows him into the mount position for the choke. 

If you look closely, Brady’s arm and more specifically hand is around and almost past Aguilera’s chin. Having the head completely wrapped and seemingly folded into his opponent’s own chest, along with squeeze, Fedler alluded to Brady knew the choke was ending that bout. See the sequence below:

Alex Caceres and Polyana Viana were the other two UFC Vegas 8 submission victories but it’s too bad they could not get the performance of the night bonuses as well. Caceres was another choke,  where he sunk in the choke before the hooks to take the back which is sort of the opposite of what’s done, but it worked:

Viana got a quick tap from playing guard against Emily Whitmire for her submission victory. This is a good example of why some fighters prefer striking from the top position in their opponent’s half guard over the full guard.

MMA keeps moving forward so there are certainly more submissions to come.

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