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  1. [Tycho?] is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:39pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Common UFC Submissions: A Study By Numbers

    "Whats the most common submission used in the UFC?" This is a fairly common question thats asked, yet one that seems to be lacking in definative answers. People have their opinions, usually armbar or RNC, and there are sometimes numbers that are cited. Yet I've never seen a card by card breakdown of submission victories, to see which submissions are used and how frequently. So I decided to do it myself.

    Here are my results, I'll get into more detail below.

    The total submissions from all UFC events, including fight nights and ultimate fighter finales, from 1-99.




    A year by year breakdown can be found below.

    Numbers posted on Google Docs
    Note that this is not the original spreadsheet. I don't currently have a way of sharing a document like that, but this should suffice for now.




    Methodology:
    I have no special access to UFC data, so I used what was freely available online. I mostly used Wikipedia articles and Sherdog pages for events. For the most part, I simply looked up the given event, copied down the submissions and their types, and moved on.

    Originally I had intended to use the Sherdog listings verbatim; that is copy them down however they appeared, and so putting the responsibility on them for having their info be correct. This quickly proved to be a poor choice. Early UFC events in particular are quite the jumble of records. Submissions listed as "Choke", "Armlock" or simply "Submission" are common. Using these would be useless, as they do not actually increase our understanding of which submissions are common. As such I did my own detective work to find out what the submission "really" was. This, however, makes my chart a fundamentally subjective study. If someone else were to count, they'd likely arrive at a different result. These numbers are simply my interpertation, and should not be taken to be definative.

    To determine the submission that occured, I generally followed these steps. First I looked up the card on Wikipedia and Sherdog. If these results were normal sounding (armbar, kimura, etc) I copied them down directly. If the results were abmigious (armlock), curious (forearm choke) or otherwise strange then I tried to find a closer look. Usually I would compare Wikipedia with Sherdog. If Sherdog listed a victory as a "Choke" and Wikipedia listed it as "Triangle Choke", then I would take the more specific entry and assume it to be the correct one. If both these sources failed then I would attempt to find a text review online and use the result described in the article. If I had access to the fight itself, I would watch it. If all these avenues failed, I simply copied the result as I found it.

    For the sake of this study I favor simplicity. I could easily count a kimura from guard as being different from a kimura from side control. Armbar being different from a flying armbar and so on. So as to not have dozens of different kinds of submissions, I always take more common submission and list it as such. My listing is trying to be as basic and concise as possible.



    What is a submision?
    For this study, a submission is a commonly known grapplers submission, namely those used in Brazillian JuJitsu. Tapping out due to strikes, injury, fatigue, or frustration are not submissions. Tapping out due to pain is also not a submission. Armbars, Triangles, Heel Hooks are all submissions. I do my best to fit ambigious results into one of these known catagories. Submissions classed as "other" means that I was unable to determine what the submission actually was, or otherwise how to classify it. These include things like "armlocks" "chokes" and "gi chokes". "Assorted" submissions are simply those that are less common than the 6 most used ones.

    Examples of methodology:
    Keith Hackney vs Joe Son at UFC 4. Sherdog lists the victory as a "Choke". I read a review of the card here: 411mania.com: MMA - History of the UFC: UFC IV - Revenge of the Warriors which said that Son tapped to repeated groin strikes. I trust the reviewer more than Sherdog, so I don't count this as a submission.
    edit: its been pointed out by a few people now, and I've seen footage myself on Son tapping to a choke, rather than the ball shots. I've noted the change in my spreadsheet here, but I wont be updating graphs. Good example though of how imperfect my results are.

    Tank Abbott vs Steve Jennum at Ultimate Ultimate 95. sherdog lists this as a Neck Crank for Abbot. The review (same site as above) said that Jennum tapped because his neck was pinned against the cage in an uncomfortable position. Not a "real" submission, so not listed here.

    Pete Williams vs Frank Mir at UFC 36. Mir gets Williams in a sort of straight armed shoulder lock. The victory is listed as a shoulder lock, and as I have never seen this submission used elsewhere, nor do I know of any commonly known name for it, I list it as a "shoulder locK" which falls into "other".

    Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter at UFC 67. The fight ended with Lutter caught in a triangle, eating elbows to the head, he tapped. Was this a triangle, or TKO victory? Only Lutter himself knew which he tapped to, but since I'm counting submissions here and not TKOs, I counted this as a triangle.

    Chris Lytle vs Jason Gilliam at UFC 73. The fight ended with Lytle in a reverse triangle position going for a straight armbar. The triangle looked fairly tight, however the second Lytle locked in the straight armbar, Gilliam tapped. I took this to be an armbar victory.



    Problems, Mistakes, etc
    There is no way I copied down several hundred numbers manually without making mistakes. I'd encourage people here to look through my spread sheet and see if there are any errors. It will just look like a block of numbers, but if you know for a fact that so-and-so beat whats-his-face by flying gogoplata at UFC 12 and not armbar like I have listed, tell me so I can fix it. Its also possible I made a larger mistake in the spreadsheet-ing, say where the total number of armbars also accidentally counts the number of triangles, or something of that nature. Sorry for the formatting of the spread sheet, I've never done this before so its probably not that user-friendly to someone who didn't write it. Same goes with the inconsistant sizes of the charts; it bugs the hell out of me, but I didn't find a quick way to re-size the elements the same way. The next version will be better now that I've learned from (some of) my mistakes. This took quite a bit longer than expected.
  2. [Tycho?] is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:40pm

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    Here is a breakdown by year. Notice how the proportions vary significantly, and how the results for 2008 are quite different from the over all results.

    Several people have brought up that it seems odd that there were so few submissions in the first 7 years of the sport, compared to say the year 2007. Part of the reason is number of events. I've now put the number of events above each chart.
    List of UFC events - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    UFC 1 November 12, 1993 - UFC 23 November 19, 1999
    27 events

    UFC 24 March 10, 2000 - UFC 56 November 19, 2005
    37 events

    Ultimate Fight Night 3 January 16, 2006 - UFC 66 December 30, 2006
    18 events

    Fight Night: Evans vs. Salmon January 25, 2007 - UFC 79 December 29, 2007
    19 events

    UFC 80 January 19, 2008 - UFC 92 December 27, 2008
    20 events
  3. JohnnyCache is offline
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    All Out of Bubblegum

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:41pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I really respect a nice chart.
    There's no choice but to confront you, to engage you, to erase you. I've gone to great lengths to expand my threshold of pain. I will use my mistakes against you. There's no other choice.
  4. EmperorCesar is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:43pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ, MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good stuff.
  5. v1y is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:45pm


     Style: Internet Warrior, BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i find it hard to believe there are only 4 keylocks in ufc history (although i'm sure it is a low number)... gonzaga definitely tapped mccully with a keylock (it's listed on sherdog as a kimura).

    personally i don't find much merit in this sort of thing. can we really compare kneeing a guy in the face and choking him to taking him down and then taking his back?
    Last edited by v1y; 6/15/2009 4:48pm at .
  6. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:52pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by v1y View Post
    i find it hard to believe there are only 4 keylocks in ufc history (although i'm sure it is a low number)... gonzaga definitely tapped mccully with a keylock (it's listed on sherdog as a kimura).
    You’re looking at “keylocks” under “assorted”, but kimuras have their own category (4% of 336 total submissions, or 13–14 kimuras). Presumably the 4 under “assorted” are other keylocks (americanas?).

    OP: Neat stuff. It may not be perfect but it’s very interesting and a nice start, and by making the source stats public you leave room for others to build on your work. The community is beholden to thee!
    [ petterhaggholm.net | blog | essays ]
    [ self defence: general thoughts | bjj: “don’t go to the ground”? ]
    “The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.”
  7. [Tycho?] is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 4:56pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petter View Post
    You’re looking at “keylocks” under “assorted”, but kimuras have their own category (4% of 336 total submissions, or 13–14 kimuras). Presumably the 4 under “assorted” are other keylocks (americanas?).

    OP: Neat stuff. It may not be perfect but it’s very interesting and a nice start, and by making the source stats public you leave room for others to build on your work. The community is beholden to thee!
    Ha, I wouldn't go as far as "beholden" but thanks. Yeah, keylocks = americanas for this survey.

    And I really would like recommendations, pointing out mistakes or flaws or whatever. This really is my first stab at anything remotely like this, and I've already learned a lot, but this is far from perfect. All feedback is appreciated.
  8. [Tycho?] is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 6:11pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Err, is there an edit post function that I'm not seeing here?

    I fucked up my first chart there. Thanks to my inexperience with spreadsheets, I managed to overcount the number of armbars by 30, yikes!

    Here is the correct-er version, probably still has mistakes though:
  9. Matt Phillips is offline
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    NOTE TO SELF - MOAR GRAPPLE - GET A NORMAL HAIR CUT - REPEAT

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 6:31pm

    supporting member
     Style: Submission Grappling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I respect what you are trying to do, but I am disturbed that you would have to choose between wretched hives of innacuracy like Sherdog and Wikipedia to get your results. Hackney tapped JS by rape choke. Regardless of what it says on the interwebz, that is what happened.

    Jennum tapped because he head was literally being pushed through the fence. There was an Jennum-head sized imprint in it after he stood up.

    Don't be afraid to actually watch the fights. If you can't find the fight, PM me.
    Now darkness comes; you don't know if the whales are coming. - Royce Gracie


    KosherKickboxer has t3h r34l chi sao

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  10. Wolf is offline
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    T3h R34l Gangnam Style!

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    Posted On:
    6/15/2009 8:33pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by [Tycho?] View Post
    Chris Lytle vs Jason Gilliam at UFC 73. The fight ended with Lytle in a reverse triangle position going for a straight armbar. The triangle looked fairly tight, however the second Lytle locked in the straight armbar, Gilliam tapped. I took this to be an armbar victory.
    I just want to say I've been on the receiving end of this freakish move from Chris, and it SUCKS! He's a truly psycho grappler. He pulls ****, from all over the place.

    On a more on topic note. Nice! This is really impressive work man!
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