Most UFC wins are earned through points, but the best fighters make their opponents bow out of the game. Submissions are when your opponent quits by saying stop or tapping out.
The other way to win without looking at points is through a knockout. That’s when you literally knock a person unconscious. These are rare and usually a sign that the fighters aren’t evenly matched.
If you want an “edge of your seat” match where a clear winner can be seen, then you’re hoping for a submission.
Today, we want to remind you of some amazing fighters with jaw-dropping statistics. This time, we are looking at the fighters with the most submission wins.
- Ken Shamrock – 22 Submission Wins
When Shamrock went pro, he managed to create 22 submission wins! That is a shocking number by itself, but to really hammer home how amazing that is, we need to compare it to his total wins.
Shamrock won 28 matches in total, meaning that 79% of his wins weren’t through points scored but his sheer power.
Even the big names of his day bowed down to the force that was Shamrock. Fighters like Maurice Smith, Dan Severn, Masakatsu Funaki, Bas Rutten, and Kimo Leopoldo are just a few who couldn’t handle this beast’s strength.
In fact, Masakatsu Fanaski submitted twice!
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – 20 Submission Wins
Some of you might wonder why Nogueira is so high up on our list. Yes, he got 20 submission wins (which is incredible), but he also played more matches than most. From his 30 wins, this 20 submission rate is around 60%.
There are others further down the list that have a much higher success rate. Although that is true, we aren’t looking at submission rates; we are looking at the most wins in total!
This means that Nogueira is right where he needs to be!
- Kazushi Sakuraba – 19 Submission Wins
73% of all Sakuraba’s matches ended in a submission. That’s an amazing number that very few can beat.
What’s even more impressive is who tapped out under Sakuraba’s dominance. These 19 submissions weren’t just weaker or lesser-known fighters. Some of the heavy hitters in the games were crying stop when up against Sakuraba!
Fighters like Royler, Renzo, and Gracie are just a few of the big names that bowed down to Sakuraba. In fact, Gracie submitted twice, and Sakuraba broke Renzo’s arm!
- Shinya Aoki – 19 Submission Wins
The way Shinya Aoki powers through to submission is like an art of its own. Aoki is a varied fighter who can pull tactics from a wide range of styles. He keeps his opponents on their toes, as no one knows what move he will try next.
This tension-building game of “what next” is how Aoki built 19 submissions. This was from 30 wins in total, creating a 64% submission rate.
Winning by submission is meant to be unusual, but these fighters make it seem like a regular Tuesday.
- Royce Gracie – 11 Submission Wins
Looking back, some might scoff at Royce Gracie’s 11 submission wins. They might suggest that if he played in today’s rings, these numbers would be much lower.
To those people, we scoff back. There is always a first in every sport, and Gracie was the first fighter to really utilize Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He brought grappling into the game!
Because no one knew how to deal with this form of fighting, Gracie was able to win match after match, which led to his 11 submission wins.
It took longer than it should for his opponents to learn about this “new” method of fighting, but eventually, the rest of the UFC figured out how to counter the infamous grapple.
Without Gracie, we may never have seen such Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skill in UFC.
- Rickson Gracie – 9 Submission Wins
Don’t let Rickson’s 9 submission wins fool you. Fighting in his late 30s and early 40s, this older champion was a force of nature.
He won all 11 of his matches, 2 of which were from strikes. That means his 9 submission wins gave a rating of 82%!
That’s an outstanding number, without even considering his age!
- Frank Mir – 9 Submission Wins
For some reason, Mir is a talented fighter that often gets overlooked. It doesn’t matter how many arms this man breaks, people forget he had even played.
Well, not on this list!
Today, we want to remind every viewer and reviewer alike that Frank Mir managed to bring 9 people to submission out of his 16 wins total. That brings him to a 56% submission rate!
Mir is the only fighter to ever submit Brock Lesnar and Big Nog. No one else can claim that feat!
- Fabricio Werdum – 8 Submission Wins
Out of Werdum’s 15 wins, 8 of them were through submission! Retiring at the age of 44, this legend in the ring was an amazing player to watch!
No matter what decade of UFC you want to watch, there are amazing submissions from outstanding fighters. Although some were only on the scene for a short amount of time, their submission streak will be remembered for years!
Want to make a bet on this year’s submissions? Check out Fanduel’s UFC fight odds, and make your bets now!
(Photo by Ross Dettman/Getty Images for IFL)
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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