MMATORCH YEAR END AWARDS: Submission of the Year

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

May 12, 2018; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Aleksei Oleinik reacts after defeating Junior Albini (not seen) during UFC 224 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the latest of many MMATorch Awards for 2018. MMATorch staff have voted in a wide array of categories, with the top vote-getters receiving the awards. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments or Tweet us @MMATorch. Be sure to check out our other awards thus far.

Submission of the Year

This one is simple. Which submission finish was most impressive, memorable, or unique enough to be worthy of the title of the best of 2018. There were several contenders to this award, but two got the most votes, and likely for different reasons. One for its technical impressiveness, and the other for the grit it took to pull off and the celebration afterward.

Winner: Aleksei Oleinik defeats Junior Albini by Ezekiel Choke (1:45, first round)

This submission took place in the middle of the prelims of a rather unassuming UFC 224 card from Brazil. What’s impressive about Oleinik’s Ezekiel Choke of Junior Albini is that not only did he pull off a rare and difficult choke, but he did it for the second time in just a few months. Prior to this year, no one had won a UFC fight with the move. For this alone, Oleinik is more than deserving of Submission of the Year.

Honorable Mention 

-Donald Cerrone first-round armbar over Mike Perry at UFC Fight Night Denver.

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