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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
We're at the mid-way point of 2012, so this week I'll be looking back on my favorite events, finishes, and fights of the year thus far. Today we continue the series with the top submissions of 2012 (so far).
2012 Submission of the Year (So Far): Nate Diaz's guillotine choke over Jim Miller - UFC on Fox 3
This was a tough category to pick, with a number of exciting, flashy, and impressive submissions being pulled off this year, but perhaps none was more impressive than Diaz stopping Miller, who had never once been stopped in his career. The setup was beautiful as well, as he out-struck Miller, got the guillotine choke locked in with one arm, and used that to set it up even tighter as they rolled through. The sight of Miller's tongue hanging out, stuck, as the hold was on tight was scary, and was just a crazy finish to Diaz's best career performance.
The Best of the Rest
Charles Oliveira's calf slicer over Eric Wisely (UFC on Fox 2): This was close to the top spot for me, and for moments I've witnessed live and in person this is up there with the best of them. Had Oliveira's calf slicer come in a higher profile fight against a more capable opponent, it would have been a more impressive achievement. As it stands, it's still the first calf slicer in UFC history, and it was a fantastic visual for fans. As he got Wisely's leg locked up with his shin behind the knee, he pulled him backwards, prompting the submission from the visibly painful hold. It's one of those moments that fans who saw it live may never forget.
Chan Sung Jung's D'Arce choke over Dustin Poirier (UFC on Fuel 3): In an absolutely epic back and forth fight on Fuel TV in May, "The Korean Zombie" made it clear that he's a legitimate title challenger in the featherweight division when he defeated Dustin Poirier. But he didn't just beat him; he out-classed him throughout much of the fight. Then, in the fourth round, Jung dropped Poirier with a flying knee, and locked up a D'Arce choke submission, forcing a quick tap. It was an awesome end to an awesome fight.
Ronda Rousey's armbar over Miesha Tate (Strikeforce "Tate vs. Rousey"): Rousey nearly finished this fight with an armbar early, as had been her M.O., but Tate survived the first attempt. The second, however, was more brutal as Rousey bent Tate's elbow past where the joint should be bent, leading to a nasty, nasty looking hold, which finally forced Tate to submit. Rousey's submission skills are no joke, and she proved that yet again in capturing the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship.
T.J. Waldburger's armbar over Jake Hecht (UFC on FX 2): This one wasn't seen by as many, considering it was a prelim fight on Fuel TV, but it was still a very impressive finish. As they were working for position on the feet, Waldburger jumped over Hecht to lock on the armbar. He had it tight, and earned the submission win in a sweet highlight.
John Maguire's armbar over DaMarques Johnson (UFC on Fuel 2): This may have been the year of the armbar in MMA, as Maguire added to the list while giving UFC fans a call back to Matt Hughes-GSP I. As Maguire was working on the ground, Johnson left his arm open. Maguire quickly moved up, stepping over Johnson's body and right into the armbar. It was a quick, seamless transition, and earned a quick tapout as well.
Other notable submissions:
--Rousimar Palhares' heel hook over Mike Massenzio (UFC 142)
--Dustin Poirier's mounted triangle armbar over Max Holloway (UFC 143)
--Vaughan Lee's armbar over Kid Yamamoto (UFC 144)
--Paul Sass' triangle armbar over Jacob Volkmann (UFC 146)
--Glover Teixeira's arm triangle over Kyle Kingsbury
Updated July 6 with the addition of Jung's win over Poirier.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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