May 2018 was by far the most loaded month yet in terms of fights, submission, and knockouts. There will be more honorable mentions in each category than previous months. This seems to be the case with each passing month.
Because of this, from here on out, along with picking a winner and listing a slew of honorable mentions, three will be selected per month/category. Think of it as a first, second, and third ranking.
This month, all across the globe, we saw pivotal submission finishes. From Yusup Raisov winning gold and avenging his defeat to Marat Balaev in Russa, to Tatiana Suarez steamrolling Alexa Grasso before choking her out in Chile. This month saw no shortage of scintillating submission wins.
There can only be one winner, though.
Alexey Oleynik vs. Junior Albini
Mid-way through the month, UFC 224 went down live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On the preliminary portion of the card, there was a pivotal heavyweight clash between up-and-coming prospect Junior Albini and savvy veteran Alexey Oleynik.
In terms of submission wins, there are not too many chokeholds that are considered rare nowadays. One of the more rare chokes we see pulled off in MMA is the Ezekiel Choke. Yet, as rare as it, Alexey Oleynik has 10 of them on his insane resume. And, spoiler alert, he got his 11th vs. Junior Albini.
Immediately as the fight starts, the commentators are talking up Oleynik’s unreal ability to pull off Ezekiel’s. Citing his 2017 win over Viktor Pesta where he won with an Ezekiel Choke – while mounted! This won MMASucka’s Submission of the Month for January 2017.
Despite not being tagged with anything too significant, Oleynik was cut near his eye early by the hands of Albini. About a minute and a half into the first round, the two clinched up. This was the beginning of the end for Albini, as it has been for so many of Oleynik’s previous opponents.
As soon as they clinch, Oleynik knows what to do as he is a master in this position. He begins to synch the Ezekiel in before the fight even hits the mat. Albini attempted to fight this by doing exactly what the Russian was hoping he would do; tripping him to the mat.
When you are dealing with someone who is as good as Oleynik is on the ground, there is virtually no escape while in this position. It didn’t take long for Junior Albini to figure that out. He was able to survive for about 13 or so seconds before being forced to tap.
The arena erupted in a confused cheer before realizing that their guy had lost. Jimmy Smith and Jon Anik went crazy on commentary. And Alexey Oleynik celebrated the 11th Ezekiel Choke win of his near-70-fight career.
The choke is primarily used in grappling where the opponent is wearing a gi or kimono and is normally only used in that setting because the choke is one where the fighter doing the choke is using his own sleeve for leverage, something that you obviously cannot do in an MMA fight.
There have been two Ezekiel Choke finishes in UFC history. Alexey Oleynik is responsible for both of them. He improves to an insane 56-11-1.
Now, it’s time to rank the Top 3 Submissions of May 2018.
1. Alexey Oleynik def. Junior Albini via SUB1
2. Daniel Swain def. Musu Nuertiebieke via SUB1
M-1 Challenge 91
3. Yusup Raisov def. Marat Balaev via SUB1
Along with those three, check out 44 honorable mentions below! Also, relive the Submission of the Month from April 2018 courtesy of Tatsuya So!
- TKO 43 | Maxime Soucy def. Olivier Nadeau via SUB1 (Bulldog Choke)
- TKO 43 | Jesse Arnett def. Sebastian Ruiz via SUB2 (Guillotine Choke, Title Defense)
- CES NY 1 | Reginaldo Felix def. Tom Regal via SUB1 (Triangle Choke)
- Invicta FC 29 | Pearl Gonzalez def. Barbara Acioly via SUB1 (Armbar)
- Invicta FC 29 | Sarah Kaufman def. Katharina Lehner via SUB3 (RNC, Title Win)
- RCC 2 | Nikita Chistyakov def. Anton Chernega via SUB1 (Arm Triangle)
- ACB 86 | Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov def. Batraz Agnaev via SUB1 (RNC, Title Win)
- ACB 86 | Askar Askarov def. Rasul Albaskhanov via SUB2 (Guillotine Choke, Title Defense)
- RIZIN 10 | Kanako Murata def. Lanchana Green via SUB1 (Anaconda Choke)
- Shooto Brasil 83 | Cauata Samuel def. Marcos Silva via SUB1 (Armbar)
- Shooto Brasil 83 | Jafel Filho def. Weder Aparecido via SUB1 (Arm Trap RNC)
- M-1 Challenge 91 | Vazha Tsiptauri def. Hui Liang via SUB1 (Guillotine Choke)
- ROAD FC 047 | Gilbert Yvel def. Mighty Mo via SUB1 (Armbar, GP QF)
- ONE: Grit and Glory | Priscila Gaol def. Rome Trinidad via SUB1 (Standing Guillotine)
- ONE: Grit and Glory | Stefer Rahardian def. Himanshu Kaushik via SUB1 (RNC)
- Unified MMA 33 | Shane Campbell def. Stephen Beaumont via SUB3 (Neck Crank, Title Defense)
- Bellator 199 | Justin Tenedora def. David Rivera via SUB1 (Triangle Choke)
- Bellator 199 | Adam Piccolotti def. Carrington Banks via SUB3 (RNC)
- UFC 224 | David Ramos def. Nick Hein via SUB1 (Neck Crank)
- UFC 224 | Cezar Mutante def. Karl Roberson via SUB1 (Arm Triangle)
- ONE: Unstoppable Dreams | Shinya Aoki def. Rasul Yakhyaev via SUB1 (Triangle Choke)
- Alaska FC 140 | Nic Herron-Webb def. John Stern via SUB3 (Standing Guillotine)
- Alaska FC 140 | Cody Rice def. Jason Flowers via SUB1 (Armbar)
- Alaska FC 140 | Tristin Lowe def. Alex Aschenbrunner via SUB1 (Shoulder Choke)
- FNG 87 | Mihran Harutyunyan def. Ali Youssefi via SUB2 (Von Flue Choke)
- ACB 87 | Stephen Martin def. Regis Sugden via SUB3 (Arm Triangle)
- ACB 87 | Alex Gilpin def. Adlan Mamaev via SUB3 (Power Guillotine)
- ACB 87 | Andre Winner def. Adam Aliev via SUB2 (RNC)
- UFC FN 129 | Claudio Puelles def. Felipe Silva via SUB3 (Kneebar)
- UFC FN 129 | Tatiana Suarez def. Alexa Grasso via SUB1 (RNC)
- Pancrase 296 | Akihiro Murayama def. Takaaki Nara via SUB1 (RNC)
- Pancrase 296 | Daichi Kitakata def. Hiroaki Ijima via SUB2 (Guillotine Choke)
- Pancrase 296 | Toshio Mitani def. Hiroyuki Sugiura via SUB2 (Ninja Choke)
- Iron Boy MMA 11 | Kyle Stewart def. Chauncey Foxworth via SUB1 (Scarfhold Armbar)
- Bellator 200 | Aaron Chalmers def. Ashley Griffiths via SUB1 (Standing Guillotine)
- Bellator 200 | Anatoly Tokov def. Vlad Filipovic via SUB1 (Standing Guillotine)
- TFC 18 | Doo Hwan Kim def. Hikaru Sato via SUB1 (Arm Triangle)
- LFA 40 | Miles Johns def. Eric Ellington via SUB2 (Guillotine Choke)
- Oktagon 6 | Filip Macek def. Ivan Ovchinnikov via SUB1 (Guillotine Choke)
- EFC Worldwide 70 | August Kayambala def. Warren King via SUB1 (Inverted Heel Hook)
- Shooto Brasil 84 | Hacran Dias def. Mauricio Machado via SUB1 (Armbar)
- UFC FN 130 | Gillian Robertson def. Molly McCann via SUB2 (RNC)
- UFC FN 130 | Claudio Silva def. Nordine Taleb via SUB1 (RNC)
- UFC FN 130 | Arnold Allen def. Mads Burnell via SUB3 (Inverted Guillotine)