As 2021 has come to an end, it’s time to look back on how the year progressed and what better way to do it than reviewing the best submissions to happen in the highest level of MMA competition, the UFC and Bellator. As always, the year has been packed with fast-paced and elite-level grappling action in both promotions and literally dozens of BJJ black belts have stepped into the cage. Among those elite grapplers who’ve competed in the octagon are several IBJJF and ADCC world champions and plenty more who might have the skills to medal at those events but chose to focus on MMA from the start instead.
As the Jitsmagazine 2020 BJJ Awards showed, the UFC isn’t the only place that fans get to see incredible grappling as Bellator’s AJ McKee actually ended up winning the best MMA submission of the year. This year is no exception to that either, as there have been literally dozens of fantastic submission finishes in the Bellator cage. It isn’t just American promotions either of course as both ONE FC and RIZIN FF have put on plenty of events in 2021 and have their own stables of talented grapplers and BJJ black belts to draw from when it comes to setting up fights.
Here however, we will focus on the two largest MMA promotions in the world, both of which happen to make their base of operations in North America. In anticipation of announcing the winner for best submission of the year for 2021, the UFC released a video to their official YouTube channel showing the submissions that have earned a nomination for the illustrious MMA award:
Although Bellator don’t hold their own separate version of end-of-year awards, the MMA promotion did upload two videos to their official YouTube channel that highlighted the best submissions that they’ve seen in 2021:
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