Submission of the Year: Pettis of Henderson


As the first of the year rolls around it is only natural to take a look at the past year of MMA and reminisce about the best fights, best rivalries, best knockouts, best everything really. MMAFighting recently deemed Anthony Pettis' submission of Benson Henderson the Submission the Year:

From guard, Pettis was instantly proactive. As Henderson tried to establish his posture and get his hands and elbows set for ground and pound, Pettis whipped his hips counterclockwise and elevated off the mat like the un-turn of a screw. It was an act remarkable not simply for the speed by which everything transpired, but for it's technical beauty. Pettis established the proper angle with the hip turn, but also managed to get his hips high enough so Henderson couldn't elbow escape. Pettis closed the proverbial walls around Henderson with an additional adjustment underneath with is elbow by positioning it for even greater destruction. One can only imagine the cascading feeling of terror and disappointment that must've washed over him as he knew the only thing keeping Pettis from becoming the new champion was the mere formality of his own surrender.

And surrender he did, although not with the characteristic physical tap but a verbal tap only the pair could hear. Some have suggested this partially ruined the submission by making it anti-climactic. While the home crowd eventually celebrated their new champion, there was a moment between Pettis letting go of the arm and the audience comprehending what had just happened. After all, only Pettis heard the verbal tap Henderson gave him.

But that intimacy is precisely what elevates the submission. Pettis managed to secure it in a title fight for a divisional belt in what is arguably the UFC's toughest weight category. And not only did he achieve the result against a rival who is nothing if not defensively strong and often heralded for his particular ability to withstand submission attempts, he did so with a submission so vicious and damaging that Henderson resorted to telling Pettis he was done because tapping with a physical hand wouldn't be quick enough to spare himself from injury.

Pettis knows how Henderson gave up and no one else does. He not only gets to keep the belt, but the sound of Henderson's voice frantically pushing through his mouth guard to hurriedly acquiesce is his and only his to enjoy.

There's often another overlooked aspect to Pettis' outstanding finish, namely, armbar submissions from the guard are rare in high-level competition. That's true both in MMA and especially sport jiu-jitsu. The truth is securing that particular submission from standard closed guard is extremely hard to do. Why? It's hard to break your opponent's posture. It's hard to move underneath quickly enough to get the clamp. Defense from that position, relatively speaking, is easy.

read entire article...

The Underground, generally speaking, has a large proportion of members that actually train MMA or BJJ than other media sites, so what do you think? Do you agree that this was the best submision in 2013, and if not, what was?

Related MMA gear from the UG Store


Headrush UFC 164 Anthony \

Headrush UFC 164 Anthony "Showtime" Pettis Walkout Shirt

Only $35.99

Headrush Panther Shirt

Headrush Panther Shirt

Only $29.95


Recent Comments »

MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ site profile image  


When you beat former champ Edgar 2x, TUF winner Nate Diaz and then Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez all in a row I call you dominant. Whether you agree with the decisions or not he still won and defended. You are entitled to your own opinon.

Muscles82 site profile image  

1/7/14 4:34 PM by Muscles82

100% of his title defenses were decisions.  50% of them were SPLIT.  Benson was never a "dominant" champion IMHO.

MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ site profile image  


There have been some cooler submissions than Pettis armbar over Benson but you cant deny that in a title fight to hit such a basic submission off your back against a dominant champion like Benson is pretty impressive. Nobody saw that coming. I think Pettis definitely deserves submission of the year!

Easters site profile image  

1/6/14 10:19 PM by Easters

You've got to be kidding. A blue belt?? Did you see how quick Pettis' hips moved? That arm bar was very high level. I'm sure Benson doesn't tap to blues

Jimmy Rustler site profile image  

1/6/14 9:39 PM by Jimmy Rustler

benson is a BJJ blackbelt.   go watch the gracie breakdown for that armbar..

Internettufguy site profile image  

1/6/14 9:16 PM by Internettufguy

The only submissions that Ben has seemed immune to are chokes. This was nothing special. Ben rushed in and got caught. The same way he would have gotten caught by any blue belt looking for the sub.

Muscles82 site profile image  

1/6/14 4:59 PM by Muscles82

The UG Blog added literally THREE sentences to this artic blog entry, one before the article exerpt and two after it.  Three sentences and TWO spelling errors.  That is pretty fucking incredible.  For the lazy, "large" should be "larger" and "submision" should be "submission."  How fucking difficult is it to write your comments/articles in Openoffice and run a spell-check before posting them?  It's FREE!  This isn't something that happens every now and again, it happens almost every time.  The morons that write here need ESL classes.

jwg site profile image  

1/6/14 4:24 PM by jwg

So his threat was lijit, but was it legit?Also, are there no "lijitimate" journalists anymore? I mean, come on, everybody has spell check.....

kalt site profile image  

1/6/14 3:16 PM by kalt

Every time Pettis fights Henderson he not only beats him, but he gets an award for how he pulled it off. Amusing.

Paper View Keybored Warrior site profile image  

1/6/14 3:14 PM by Paper View Keybored Warrior

Yeah. Just getting lost intranslation. Apologies :)As to you saying he's smug, I really didn't have an opinion on him until he responded to one of my tweets. I knew what I had seen in the fight but speaking from Authority, Luke knew better than myself.(but not better than Ben Henderson as quoted in my link)"It is what it is" or whatever it is that Dana White says all-the-fucking-time :)


The newest MMA equipment and apparel!
The best MMA gear and apparel on sale now!
Revgear MMA gear and apparel