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UFC's 2022 half-year awards: The Submissions

When the fights went to the mat, these athletes made it look like a work of art.

The highly unofficial half-year awards season continues with the best submissions of the first half of 2022 and how we saw them on fight night ...

5. Claudio Puelles vs Clay Guida

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Peruvian lightweight prospect Claudio Puelles made it five straight wins in an April co-main event, as he submitted Clay Guida in the opening round.

The fight went to the mat in the opening minute, Guida on top but Puelles aggressively going after submissions. Guida defended well and scrambled his way out of trouble, but only momentarily, as Puelles locked in the kneebar that forced the tap out at 3:01 of the first round. 

4. Tom Aspinall vs. Alexander Volkov

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Rising heavyweight star Tom Aspinall continued to impress, as the British contender submitted Alexander Volkov in the first round of their UFC main event at The O2 in London in March.

Aspinall showed off his speed and striking accuracy immediately as he pushed the pace on Volkov and then put him on the mat less than a minute into the fight. Aspinall bloodied his opponent while they were grounded, but Volkov was able to get back to his feet just before the midway point of the frame. He didn't get to stay there long, as Aspinall scored a second takedown with under two minutes to go. And this time, the Atherton product closed the show, forcing a tap out due to a straight armlock at 3:45 of the first round.

3. Paul Craig vs. Nikita Krylov

A clash of light heavyweight contenders in March saw Paul Craig score another impressive submission victory over Nikita Krylov.

Both fighters roared out to start the bout and after Krylov caught Craig, the Scotland native took his foe down. Krylov scrambled his way into the top position and proceeded to fire off hard shots. But just when it seemed like Krylov was in total control, Craig threw his legs up and locked in the triangle choke that forced a tap out at 3:57 of the first round.

2. Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje

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Charles Oliveira may not have gone home to Brazil with his world championship after missing weight for the UFC 274 main event, but he did get on the plane with his status as the best lightweight in the world intact after a first-round submission victory over Justin Gaethje.

Oliveira staggered Gaethje with a right hand to open the bout, and then landed another hard shot, only to drop Oliveira twice. Now bloodied, Oliveira remained in the pocket with Gaethje but then pulled guard with three minutes to go. Gaethje wasn't having it, and he stood up and resumed swinging, but it was Gaethje who got dropped hard with a right hand. Oliveira pounced, and moments later, he sunk in the rear-naked choke that produced a tap out at 3:22 of the first round.

1. Jessica Andrade vs. Amanda Lemos

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Former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade made a successful return to 115 pounds in a UFC main event in April, as she submitted Amanda Lemos in the first round.

Lemos was the clear aggressor as the fight began and she landed several hard kicks until midway through the round, when Andrade locked in the standing arm-triangle choke that ended Lemos' night at 3:13 of the first round.

This story first published at UFC.com.