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When you look at our constantly updated Submission statistics from the UFC in the past 20 years you’ll notice that there is a distinct top 5 that out perform all other submissions put together by a significant margin.

Here are the best submissions and their respective percentage contributions to all submission finishes.

The Best 5 Submissions In The UFC
The Top 5 Submissions in MMA/UFC Competition

Rear Naked Choke – 33%
Guillotine Choke – 18%
Arm Bar – 17%
Triangle Choke – 8%
Arm Triangle Choke – 5%
(figures correct as of November 2014)

These top 5 submissions account for more than 80% of all submission finishes in UFC MMA competition in the past 20 years. As you can see the Rear Naked Choke and Guillotine Choke account for more than half of all submission finishes themselves. To put this in terms of raw numbers, to date there have been 654 submission finishes in the UFC and 530 of these can be attributed to one of these top 5 submissions.

This data should could have a huge impact on the focus of your training in submissions, if you’re unfamiliar with how to defend any of these top 5 submissions then the risk of you being finished by submission is greatly increased. Understanding how to set up, apply and defend these submissions is absolutely crucial if you want to be successful in MMA.

We’ve previously posted an article on the 3 measures to classify the strength of a submission – complexity, risk and success rate. This allows us to make logical assessments about the relative merits of a submission. Some submissions score very highly when you measure them in this way and consequently they are highly effective and very common. Many other submissions don’t fare so well when you measure them in this way and so they make less viable options as ‘go to’ submissions. These top 5 submissions all score highly when measured this way.


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