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Alexa Grasso finaliza Valentina Shevchenko com um mata-leão no UFC 285, em março de 2023 (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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The Submissions | 2023 UFC.com Awards

Our Writers Vote On Who The Most Memorable Submissions In A Year Filled With Great Ones

The highly unofficial awards season continues with the best submissions of 2023 and how we saw them on fight night ...

1 - Alexa Grasso vs Valentina Shevchenko 1

Alexa Grasso is the new UFC flyweight champion!

The Mexican challenger took full advantage of a tactical mistake by Valentina Shevchenko in the fourth round to secure the rear-naked choke finish.

This was an ultra-competitive fight the whole way through, with Grasso surprising Shevchenko in the first by fighting from a southpaw stance. While the champion turned to her grappling to build a lead heading into the championship rounds, Grasso remained focused and continued to make the most of her opportunities.

MORE 2023 AWARDS: The Newcomers | The Upsets | The Submissions

When Shevchenko missed a spinning back kick, Grasso instantly climbed onto her back and attacked the choke, getting her hooks in, flattening her out, and eventually drawing out the tap.

This was an incredible performance from Grasso, who became the third fighter from Mexico to claim championship gold this year, joining Brandon Moreno and Yair Rodriguez. Just an amazing effort from the new champion!

2 – Da’Mon Blackshear vs Jose Johnson

Da'Mon Blackshear Scores Rare Twister Submission | UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos
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Da'Mon Blackshear Scores Rare Twister Submission | UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos
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How about a twister on a Saturday afternoon?



Da’Mon Blackshear locked up his second straight stoppage win by collecting just the third twister finish in UFC history. Blackshear took the fight to Johnson from the jump, showcasing his grappling skills by dragging him to the canvas with authority before taking advantage of a tactical mistake by Johnson to lock up the rare submission finish.

VIDEO: Sean Strickland & Dricus Du Plessis Get Into Fight In Crowd At UFC 296

The 29-year-old Blackshear impressed in his first two outings despite not registering a victory but has since shown he belongs in the bantamweight division. Now 14-5-1 overall, “Da Monster” is now in the UFC record books and making waves in the 135-pound weight class.

3 - Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Geoff Neal

Shavkat Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan chokes Geoff Neal in a welterweight fight during the UFC 285 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Shavkat Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan chokes Geoff Neal in a welterweight fight during the UFC 285 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Shavkat Rakhmonov just keeps winning.

The undefeated rising star picked up his fifth consecutive UFC win and 17th straight victory overall midway through the UFC 285 main card, getting the better of things in a competitive, tough fight against durable DWCS grad Geoff Neal. It was the toughest test of the 28-year-old’s career and despite some scary moments, he was able to pass.

In all three rounds, the ranked welterweights got after each other on the feet, with Rakhmonov offering greater variety and volume. Neal had him rocked early in the third, but couldn’t find the shot that put him down, resulting in Rakhmonov closing the distance and getting a chance to recover.

Dana White's UFC 296 Post-Fight Press Conference

Late in the frame, the undefeated “Nomad” hurt Neal with a clean right hand, compounding the punishment with knees to the body, yet somehow, the Fortis MMA man remained upright. With under a minute remaining and the pair battling along the fence, Rakhmonov latched onto a standing rear-naked choke and found the finish.

This was the most entertaining fight of the year thus far and elevates the stock of both competitors. Rakhmonov advances to 17-0 with 17 finishes with the victory and should be facing a Top 5 opponent next time out.

4 – Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane

Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane of France touch gloves inside the Octagon in the UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 285 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane of France touch gloves inside the Octagon in the UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 285 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jon Jones is the new undisputed UFC heavyweight champion of the world, and it didn’t take long for him to get there.

“Bones” took Ciryl Gane down just over a minute into the contest, and the French heavyweight was never able to get back to his feet. Jones climbed into a mounted position and started fishing for a guillotine choke, and after “Bon Gamin” fended off the first attack, he locked in the second attempt, drawing out a quick tap from Gane.

After three years away, Jones needed less than a round to claim the heavyweight throne. In the process, he pushes his record to 27-1 with one No Contest, extending his winning streak to five. This was an absolutely dominant effort from the 35-year-old, who continues to be one of the most incredible talents to ever step into the Octagon.

5 – Ariane Lipski vs Casey O’Neill

Ariane Lipski of Brazil wrestles Casey O'Neill of Scotland in a flyweight fight during the UFC 296 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 16, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Ariane Lipski of Brazil wrestles Casey O'Neill of Scotland in a flyweight fight during the UFC 296 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 16, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Ariane Lipski has never looked better.

The 29-year-old “Queen of Violence” took the fight to Casey O’Neill right out of the gate, showcasing her signature striking acumen and punishing power. After wobbling and then dropping O’Neill early in the second, the Brazilian transitioned into an armbar that drew out the tap.

After struggling to find consistency in the early days of her UFC run, Lipski has now earned three straight victories, closing out her year with an upset finish of a ranked fighter. It’s taken some time, but the former KSW champ is starting to look like a dynamic and dangerous force inside the Octagon.

6 – Erin Blanchfield vs Jessica Andrade

Erin Blanchfield reacts after her submission victory over Jessica Andrade of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Erin Blanchfield reacts after her submission victory over Jessica Andrade of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Erin Blanchfield is officially in the title mix in the flyweight division after submitting Jessica Andrade early in the second round of Saturday’s main event.

The surging prospect caught the former strawweight champion and perennial contender by trading with her early, happily staying in the pocket with Andrade for much of the opening frame. Both women landed big shots over the first five minutes, while Andrade did well to defend Blanchfield’s takedown attempts.

Order UFC 297: Strickland vs Du Plessis

In the second, the New Jersey native hit a lovely trip, jumped into side control, and quickly climbed onto Andrade’s back, sinking in the rear-naked choke with crazy precision, securing the tap almost immediately.

Just an absolutely outstanding effort from the 23-year-old standout, who is now 5-0 in the UFC and called for a meeting with the winner of the UFC 285 title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso.

7 – Yair Rodriguez vs Josh Emmett

Nine years after making his promotional debut and after years of being forecasted to wear championship gold, “El Pantera” put together his most impressive performance to date in the biggest moment of his career.

The 30-year-old Mexican standout took the fight to Emmett in the opening stanza, battering the Team Alpha Male representative with punishing body kicks and clean, varied strikes. While Emmett dropped Rodriguez with a power shot towards the end of the first, Rodriguez defended well and worked back to his feet.

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He hurt Emmett early in the second, picking his spots and bashing home powerful blows before connecting with a flying knee that sent Vaseline flying off Emmett’s head. Though the American contender used it to put Rodriguez on the canvas, the dynamic athlete from Chihuahua used it to set up and lock up a triangle choke, forcing Emmett to tap.

This was an incredible performance from Rodriguez — a stylish, punishing, impressive effort from a fighter that was long expected to be in this position. It’s an outstanding victory, and now Rodriguez will wait to see what transpires in the main event in order to see what comes next.

8 – Diego Lopes vs Gavin Tucker

Diego Lopes of Brazil secures a triangle arm bar submission against Gavin Tucker of Canada in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Bridgestone Arena on August 05, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Diego Lopes of Brazil secures a triangle arm bar submission against Gavin Tucker of Canada in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Bridgestone Arena on August 05, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Diego Lopes is quickly making a name for himself in the UFC.

After giving Movsar Evloev all he could handle in his short-notice debut, Lopes jumped on a triangle choke in the early stages of his fight with Gavin Tucker on Saturday. While Tucker was able to defend the hold momentarily, Lopes locked up the choke and then stretched out the Canadian’s arm, rolling through into mount and collecting the tap.

It’s been an outstanding couple of months for the Mexico-based Brazilian, and he’s just getting started. The 28-year-old is now 22-6 for his career and turning into a must-see attraction in the talent-rich featherweight division.

9 – Rinat Fakhretdinov vs Kevin Lee

Rinat Fakhretdinov Submits Kevin Lee | UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov
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Rinat Fakhretdinov Submits Kevin Lee | UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov
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Statement made!



Rinat Fakretdinov blasted Kevin Lee, knocking him down and nearly putting him out with a colossal right hand before snatching up a high-elbow guillotine, squeezing until Lee went unconscious.

Just an absolutely tremendous showing from “The Gladiator,” who is now 3-0 in the UFC and fully announced his presence as a fearsome emerging threat in the welterweight division with this one. What a performance!

10 – Gillian Robertson vs Piera Rodriguez

Gillian Robertson Submits Piera Rodriguez | UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Allen
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Gillian Robertson Submits Piera Rodriguez | UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Allen
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Gillian Robertson turned in an impressive effort in her UFC strawweight debut, banishing Piera Rodriguez from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The skilled grappler pulled guard and worked to a sweep in the first, showing the disparity between the two on the canvas early. Immediately to start the second, Robertson put Rodriguez back on the deck, busting her up with elbows while floating through dominant positions looking for submission attempts.

Watch All Robertson's Best On UFC FIGHT PASS

Late in the frame, Robertson attacked an armbar and extended. Rodriguez touched Robertson’s knee and continued looking to defend, with referee Keith Peterson jumping in to stop the fight. The Dana White’s Contender Series graduate protested the stoppage instantly, but it seemed like Robertson was poised to continue torquing the arm had things not been halted.

Great win for Robertson in her new weight class, securing her ninth submission win overall and seventh inside the Octagon.

Voters – Aziz Bawany, Thomas Gerbasi, E. Spencer Kyte, Steve Latrell, Gavin Porter, Zac Pacleb