Five Insane ONE Championship Submissions of 2021

Published 01/02/2022, 8:29 AM EST


Despite facing several hurdles amidst the pandemic, there was no shortage of intriguing fights in ONE Championship throughout 2021. Furthermore, it was undoubtedly one of the wildest years for the largest MMA promotion in the world.

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Everyone from the ONE women’s atomweight Grand Prix to several elite veterans managed to put on a great show. Furthermore, the debutants also didn’t hold back, as many of them kicked off their ONE career in a spectacular fashion. 

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That said, as we recently welcomed a new year, let’s revisit some of the best ONE Championship submissions of 2021.

1. Ritu Phogat vs. Stamp Fairtex: Expect the unexpected

It wasn’t about Stamp defeating Phogat, but it was more about the manner in which she won. The Fairtex representative did something that no one ever expected in the ONE women’s atomweight Grand Prix final.

There was not much action in the first round as the two calculated every move. After a minute passed, the pair went with instincts, as ‘The Indian Tigress’ started shooting for a takedown while the Fairtex representative landed some strikes.

The second round is what will go down in history! 

Phogat, who is well-accomplished on the mat, succumbed to Stamp’s improving ground game. The Fairtex representative put the Indian wrestling sensation in a deep armbar, resulting in Phogat tapping out.

The bottom line is, Stamp beat Phogat at her own game. That’s precisely why her second-round submission (armbar) victory made the top of this list.

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2. Jarred Brooks vs. Lito Adiwang: A spectacular ONE Championship debut

Brooks vs. Adiwang rivalry had no shortage of words. Things started heating between the two when the American athlete made fun of Adiwang’s hairdo, a trademark of his MMA gym, Team Lakay Wushu. 

The beef added more to the intrigue of this bout as the pair didn’t hold back while trash-talking. However, only one managed to stay true to their own words. It was none other than the ONE debutant, Brooks.

Brooks dominated Adiwang with his elite grappling skills en route to a second-round submission (arm-triangle) victory. Undoubtedly, it was one of the best ways to make his ONE Championship debut.

3. Marcus Almeida vs. Anderson Silva: The future is now

The BJJ legend Marcus Almeida made his transition into the world of MMA in a spectacular fashion. ‘Buchecha’ faced Anderson Silva in an intriguing heavyweight bout at ONE: REVOLUTION.

Almeida wasted no time and immediately shot for a perfect takedown. Then, he controlled the fight on the mat and perfectly executed a unique choke, North-South choke, which is rare to witness in an MMA bout.

It only took 2:55 minutes of the first round for ‘Buchecha’ to win the fight via submission (North-South choke). Furthermore, due to his elite BJJ skills, Almeida is destined for greatness in ONE Championship’s heavyweight division. There is no doubt about him making his way to the top and eventually landing himself a title shot in the near future.

4. Gadzhimurad Abdulaev vs. Zebaztian Kadestam: Another unique submission of 2021

Gadzhimurad Abdulaev is another fighter who put on a great show in his ONE Championship debut. He sealed the deal with a rare submission, a face crank, against Zebaztian Kadestam at ONE: UNBREAKABLE.

Abdulaev wasted no time and immediately shot for a successful double-leg takedown. Then the Russian fighter controlled the fight on the mat and secured Kadestam’s back. After that, he executed a tight body triangle, which forced the former welterweight champion to gasp for air. 

Witnessing a helpless Kadestam, Abdulaev went for the kill and secured a rear-naked choke. However, the Swedish fighter somehow managed to guard his chin. 

Regardless, a clever Abdulaev didn’t try to work his way under his opponent’s chin. Instead, he trapped Kadestam’s skull between his left bicep and forearm, aka face crank.

The bout resulted in Abdulaev winning via submission (face crank) in only 2:08 minutes of the first round.

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5. Shinya Aoki vs. Eduard Folayang 3: A ONE Championship rivalry finally put to rest

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Former ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki put his rivalry against Eduard Folayang to rest in a stunning fashion at ONE on TNT IV

It was clear that Aoki’s grappling skills were too much for Folayang to handle in their trilogy. Furthermore, the submission specialist yet again proved he is a world-class athlete as he only needed 4:20 minutes of the first round to win this fight via submission (armbar).

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Which was your ONE Championship ‘Submission of the Year’ pick of 2021? Do share with us in the comments section down below.

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Arman Khan

237 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC, and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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