When a UFC fighter does something that only one other has done in the history of the promotion, chances are people will take notice.
That was the case when Bryce Mitchell pulled off only the second Twister submission in UFC history.
Mitchell’s rare submission is The Body Lock’s 2019 Submission of the Year.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 27 veteran entered his preliminary bout at UFC DC with a 2-0 record inside the Octagon. His previous two victories had come by majority decision and unanimous decision respectively.
“Thug Nasty” was still a relative unknown in the UFC’s talent-ridden featherweight division before his bout against Matt Sayles — his biggest claim to fame being his gruesome power drill accident that blew up on MMA Twitter in August of 2018.
His subsequent performance was a launching point for the 25-year-old prospect.
Mitchell got the takedown he was looking for less than 20 seconds into the bout. From there, he controlled the pace of the fight from top position for three straight minutes.
Sayles finally got his moment to escape from his back, but he fell right into Mitchell’s trap.
With nowhere to go, Sayles laid vulnerable as Mitchell took his arm and wrapped it around his own head. At that point, all that was left to do was twist.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 8, 2019
The submission made its rounds on social media as astonished fans caught a glimpse of the Twister, thus once again putting a spotlight on “Thug Nasty” before the decade came to a close.
Brent Primus submits Tim Wilde via gogoplata
Brent Primus fought just once in 2019, but it was an interesting performance nonetheless.
Coming back from losing his lightweight title to Michael Chandler at the end of 2018, Primus bounced back with a gogoplata submission victory over Tim Wilde in the main event of Bellator Birmingham in May.
The submission victory was Primus’ fifth of his career, with the previous four all being rear-naked chokes.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) May 4, 2019
Misha Cirkunov submits Jim Crute via Peruvian Necktie
Misha Cirkunov has been known to pull out crafty submissions from time to time.
The nine-fight UFC veteran has used a variety of maneuvers to force opponents to either tap out or go unconscious. He entered his bout with then-undefeated light heavyweight prospect Jim Crute with four submission wins inside the Octagon — two arm-triangles, one guillotine and one neck crank.
He added his fifth by way of Peruvian Necktie at UFC Vancouver in September.
Cirkunov’s Peruvian Necktie was just the second in UFC history, the first being CB Dolloway’s in his win over Jesse Taylor in July of 2008.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 15, 2019
Paul Craig submits Kennedy Nzechukwu via last-minute triangle choke
When time is running out on Paul Craig and he finds himself on his back, he seems to enter some sort of zen state.
Craig is the owner of the latest submission victory in the UFC light heavyweight division’s history after forcing touted prospect Magomed Ankalaev to tap to a triangle choke at 4:59 on March 17, 2018.
Almost exactly a year later, the same scenario almost played out once again.
With just 40 seconds remaining in the fight, Kennedy Nzechukwu tapped out to Craig’s triangle choke, the first loss in Nzechukwu’s professional career.
Craig collected his third Performance of the Night bonus that night. He collected one more in September after defeating Vinicius Moreira by first-round rear-naked choke.
Paul Craig (11-3) pulls another ludicrous comeback out of his hat, tapping Kennedy Nzechukwu with less than a minute to go in round three! Scotland's "Bearjew" has finished each of his wins, 10 by submission. #UFCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/6TG4sJLdwY
— Bulgogi Jones (@Hamderlei) March 31, 2019
Aviv Gozali submits Eduard Muravitskiy via 11-second heel hook
Aviv Gozali slid his way into Bellator history this past August.
In his bout with Eduard Muravitskiy, Gozali had one goal in mind: grab a foot and twist.
Gozali caught Muravitskiy off guard and locked up a heel hook, forcing his opponent to tap just 11 seconds into round one.
The submission was the fastest in Bellator history. It was also the third submission win of Gozali’s young career.
Gozali finished his year with one more first-round submission to move to 4-0 as a professional, with all of his wins coming by different maneuvers — armbar, rear-naked choke, heel hook, and anaconda choke.
Fastest submission in @BellatorMMA history ?
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) August 24, 2019
Shane Connelly is a journalism student at Penn State with a passion for sharing the stories of MMA fighters.