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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Da'Mon Blackshear lands the third twister submission in UFC history on Jose Johnson at UFC Vegas 78 - August 2023

"The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, Bryce Mitchell, and Da'Mon Blackshear. Those are the only three fighters to pull off a twister in UFC history. Blackshear was coming off a win while Jose Johnson was making his debut at UFC Vegas 78. UFC Vegas 78 was headlined by welterweights Vicente Luque and Rafael dos Anjos, with Blackshear and Johnson the second fight on the prelims.

Blackshear went 7-1 as an amateur before going pro in 2016. In his first six years as a pro, Blackshear competed for CFFC, Bellator, and Titan FC, winning the bantamweight title in CFFC before getting a call to the big show. Blackshear went 12-4 and was no stranger to submissions, with eight of those wins coming by way of rear-naked choke and triangle choke. Johnson was 11-5 and fought for organizations like LFA before getting his first shot on Dana White's Contender Series, losing to contract winner Ronnie Lawrence. After going 3-1, Johnson got another shot and received a contract this time, though it took him about a year to make his debut.

This fight ended fairly quickly in the first round. Blackshear landed a takedown and took the back, setting up a twister by isolating Johnson's arm while having control of his lower body. Johnson wasn't able to keep Blackshear's hands from locking, resulting in the rarely-seen twister submission.

Blackshear anticipated the submission, saying post-fight, “There’s a lot of visualization before I step out in the cage. I was hoping for a flawless victory, and I got it. I went in to try to get the twister, I had to readjust my grip a couple of times, because he pushed it over his head, and I ended up going for a rear-naked choke kind of grip. I ended up trying to slide it up to his temple to kind of like crush his spine." Blackshear would step up on short notice just seven days later at UFC 292.

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