5 of the best submissions this year, so far

We're almost a quarter of the way through the year, these submissions stand out.
In the UFC Fight Night co-main event, Alexa Grasso scored the first submission win of her career, as
In the UFC Fight Night co-main event, Alexa Grasso scored the first submission win of her career, as / Barbara Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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We're almost a quarter of the way through 2023 and there's been a handful of impressive submission victories this year, spanning from many organizations. Mayra Bueno Silva has been on the winning end of a couple of those, prospects Erin Blanchfield, Tatiana Suarez, and Tabatha Ricci all have had performance bonus-worthy submissions and an honorable mention could be Carlston Harris' comeback submission win against Jeremiah Wells. Some of the submissions we've seen this year are rare and don't happen very often, so it was tough to pick.

We're only going to go with five though, and here they are.

Alexa Grasso submits flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko by face crank at UFC 285 - March 2023

UFC 285 featured the return of Jon Jones, and the co-main event featured decorated women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, who was on a nine-fight win streak including a record seven straight title defenses. Alexa Grasso earned a title shot after winning four straight since moving up to the flyweight division. Grasso got as high as a +750 underdog, but her confidence never wavered.

Grasso fights out of Mexico, becoming one of three UFC champions at the time of her win. Grasso is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but she's primarily a striker/boxer. Grasso started out her career 9-0, making waves in Invicta FC and catching the attention of Dana White. Grasso went 4-0 with the promotion and made her UFC debut at the Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale. After going 3-3 at strawweight, Grasso moved up to flyweight and has excelled ever since.

Shevchenko started out her UFC career at bantamweight, going 3-2 and moving up after losing to Amanda Nunes in a title fight. Flyweight had been a walk in the park for her until she was matched up with Grasso.

Grasso, whose first submission victory of her career had come just a year prior, shocked the world when she submitted Shevchenko in the fourth round. Grasso, a natural striker, held her own on the feet with the kickboxer Shevchenko through three rounds, but Shevchenko was able to win the ground battle. In the fourth round with a minute left, Shevchenko went for a spinning back kick (a move which also cost Chris Weidman his championship), and Grasso quickly took the back. Grasso wasn't able to get under the chin but was able to crank Shevchenko's face with enough strength the champ was forced to tap.

Grasso said in a post-interview she had practiced the back take, knowing the champ throws a lot of "spinning things". In one of the biggest upsets and comebacks of the year, this submission stands out. Grasso is scheduled to rematch Shevchenko at Noche UFC in September.