UFC fighters are always looking for the finish in their matchups and you’ll be surprised to see that a significant number of fights end by submission.
UFC fights finish by submission 20.04% of the time on average with typically 43 submissions each year.
To learn more about the UFC submission statistics and the selection of the top submission records, keep scrolling.
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UFC submissions per year
There were 42 submission victories on average between 1993-2020 in the UFC:
Bringing down that comparison to a more recent and shorter period, the average changes to 86 submission finishes between 2014-2020:
UFC submission percentages
The average percentage of fights ending by submission is roughly 20.04% between 1993-2020:
Looking at a more recent and shorter period of 2014-2020, the average percentage of fights ending by submission drops slightly to 17.94%:
With most fights going to the decision, submissions rank third amongst the most common ways for a fight to end behind knockouts:
UFC submissions by type
Of all potential submissions, the most common is the Rear-Naked Choke with 43.8% of all submission finishes in 2017:
The top five submissions are:
- Rear-Naked Choke — 43.8%
- Guillotine Choke — 13.7%
- Arm Bar — 12.5%
- Arm Triangle — 6.3%
- Anaconda Choke/D'Arce Choke/Von Flue Choke — 3.7%
Some rare submissions don't feature at all in this list, such as the omoplata that has only been successful twice in UFC history.
UFC submission records
There are several notable submission records in UFC history, which are:
Most submission wins: Charles Oliveira (16)
Charles Oliveira continues to hold the most submissions in UFC history with 16.
A clear five more than the second place and now retired legend, Damian Maia. But Jim Miller also shares the number two spot, both with 11 submission wins.
Miller is still active in the UFC but as Oliveira is the younger fighter and specializes in BJJ skills its likely he will continue pushing his record.
Most submission attempts: James Miller (47)
It's not as if James Miller hasn't put his heart into securing a top spot for submission wins, as he is the current record holder for most submission attempts with 47.
But Charles Oliveira isn't far behind with 40 and a long career ahead of him to beat it.
Highest submission average per 15 min: Paul Sass (7.38)
Paul Sass is a now retired MMA fighter from England that specialized in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
He was able to use this experience to attack the limbs of his opponents ferociously, getting all of his UFC victories within the first round and producing this record.
Fastest submission: Ronda Rousey (14 seconds)
Ronda Rousey's quick finish of Cat Zingano with a straight armbar stunned the MMA world and earned her the fastest submission record at 14 seconds.
Both fighters fell immediately into a clinch that dropped to the floor, Zingano's arm between Rousey's legs and allowed her to make quick work with the first round submission.
Least time remaining submission: Ricky Simon (0:00 Round 3)
Ricky Simon holds one of the most questionable records in the UFC since he locked in a guillotine choke on Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Fight Night 128 late into the final round.
Merab let his arms fall flat to the mats while he stomped his legs in the position, seemingly trying to hold out until the end of the round.
The referee tapped the back of Ricky within the final second of the round, seemingly calling a stoppage of the fight.
If you were to ask Merab, he still claims that it was a bad call from the ref and he was resisting the choke to see out the round. A loss on his record that he's surely going to get back some day.
Most submission attempts in a single fight: Cole Miller (10)
Cole Miller fought in the UFC until 2016 and is another Jiu-Jitsu specialist who won 7 of his UFC wins (15/21 in his whole MMA career) by submission.
Any chance he could get, Miller would be jumping at the back or neck to try and get a quick finish.
He showed this style aggressively against Leonard Garcia where he earned the record for 10 submission attempts in a single fight.
Most submission attempts in one round: James Wilks (8)
James Wilks is another English name on this list who earned the most submission attempts in a single round when facing DaMarques Johnson during The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale.
Unsurprisingly, Wilks finished the fight with the Rear-Naked Choke late in the first round. He wanted that submission finish badly and he got it.
Most submission wins in a single event: UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira Vs. Werdum (8)
As the UFC really started picking up speed in the 2010's, the year of 2013 gave us an event that had submission artists going all-out.
UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira Vs. Werdum gave the fans 8 submission wins out of 12 fights on the card, making it hold the record to this day.
It featured Erick Silva's armbar on Jason High, Leonardo Santos' arm triangle win over William Macario and the headliner fight also ending by sub with Fabricio Werdum securing the armbar over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Most submission attempts in a single event: UFC Fight Night: Condit Vs. Kampmann (33)
An event where most fights went to the decision but had no shortage of submission attempts was the 2009 showdown that featured Condit Vs. Kampmann as the headliner.
Just about every fighter on the card was looking for a finish during this event.
Maybe it was the buzz of the introduction of The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom with this event, or the fact that it also broke the record for the largest attendance for an MMA event in the state of Tennessee at that time.
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