Jon Jones submitting Ciryl Gane, 4 more important submissions of 2023 (VIDEO)

With 2023 drawing to a close, take a look back at 5 of the most important submissions of 2023.
Jon Jones submitting Ciryl Gane
Jon Jones submitting Ciryl Gane / UFC
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Shavkat Rakhmonov submits Geoff Neal in stunning fashion (UFC)

Shavkat Rakhmonov may be one of the most intimidating fighters to face in the UFC currently. The undefeated Kazakh fighter holds a perfect professional record of 18 wins, zero losses with a 100% finish rate and a near even split of eight knockouts and 10 submission victories. Along with this, Rakhmonov’s opponents had never made it to a third round. That was until Rakhmonov faced Geoff Neal at UFC 285 in March.

The pair were originally slated to fight on a UFC Fight Night in January, however an undisclosed injury from Neal lead to the pairs match up being pushed until March. Neal missed the welterweight limit for the bout, coming in at 175 pounds and surrendering 30 percent of his fight purse to Rakhmonov.

The pair exchanged heavy strikes on the feet, both fighters’ kickboxing skills being showcased. Rakhmonov did attempt multiple takedowns throughout the fight, however Neal was able to defend them to keep the fight standing, where both fighters found success. For the first time in Rakhmonov’s career, he fought in a third round, where the two continued to exchange strikes, Neal seeming to rock Rakhmonov early in the round, putting him on the backfoot.

Later in the round, Rakhmonov landed a strong right hand to sting Neal, backing him against the cage and landing strikes to his head and body. Rakhmonov continued to hunt for the takedown, and Neal consistently defended them, stopping all four of his opponents attempts over the course of the fight. Unable to take Neal down, in the final minute of the fight, Rakhmonov opted to lock in a standing rear naked choke against the fence, forcing Neal to tap.