ByMatt Juul, writer at
MMA and Entertainment Writer
Matt Juul

There were a ton of awesome submissions last year, but only one could be crowned the winner for our Best of 2016 Awards. Check out which sub came out on top below.


  • Ben Rothwell Sub Josh Barnett
  • Miesha Tate Sub Holly Holm
  • Nate Diaz Sub Conor McGregor
  • Michael McDonald Sub Masanori Kanehara
  • Donald Cerrone Sub Alex Olivera

The funny thing is that the top two submissions of the year came at the same event: UFC 196.

Winner: Tate Chokes Out Holm

After her huge upset win over , Holly Holm was riding high going into her title fight against Miesha Tate at UFC 196. While the boxing-turned champion clearly had the momentum, it turned out to be Tate’s time to shine, and she made a statement in front of the MGM crowd. Not to be outdone by headliners and Nate Diaz, the veteran female fighters went to war, leaving it all in the Octagon for five rounds. Although each woman had the upper hand during various points in the bout, Tate was able to turn up the heat with her grappling skills in the fifth frame, choking Holm unconscious with a brutal rear-naked choke to take the women’s bantamweight crown.

It was an emotional victory for Tate, who spent years cutting her teeth as a gritty pioneer for female mixed martial artists. The amount of blood, sweat, and tears that she poured into the sport was finally validated on the biggest stage. While reign as the champ ended turned out to be short lived, her submission win over Holm will forever be one of Tate’s most memorable highlights, a major stamp on a Hall of Fame worthy career.

Runner-Up: Diaz Gets McGregor To Tap Out

Perhaps not as groundbreaking as Miesha Tate’s victory over Holly Holm, Nate Diaz’s submission win over Conor McGregor was nevertheless shocking to the world of sports. In order to save the UFC 196 card, the bold and brash Diaz stepped in on short notice for an injured Rafael dos Anjos to face the featherweight king.

Going up to welterweight for the matchup, Diaz was game to take on the UFC’s biggest moneymaker on whatever terms were necessary, and he showed up to fight on that fateful March night. After weathering an early storm in round one, the Stockton bad boy came back with a vengeance against the Irish superstar in the second frame. Diaz was able to rock McGregor with some crisp punches, forcing the champ to scramble for a new game plan. Taking advantage of the situation, Diaz outplayed McGregor on the ground, securing the tap out with a vicious rear-naked choke. In typical Diaz style, the MMA vet had one thing to say following the win, “I’m not surprised motherf—kers.”

What was your favorite submission of 2016? Let us know in the comments below.


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