Check out videos of the top five submissions from UFC 11 to UFC 20, featuring the legendary UFC Hall of Famer Kazushi Sakuraba.
In our latest series here at BJPenn.com “Top 5 Submissions” we take a look at the most lethal submissions from the second block of UFC events. These tapouts from 1997 to 1999, which feature numerous future UFC Hall of Famers, still hold up strong over 20 years later. Keep in mind there are many other submissions deserving of the list, but we had to choose just five. Take a look at our top-five list below.
UFC 13: Guy Mezger def. Tito Ortiz via guillotine choke, 3:00
At UFC 13 in May 1997, we saw the MMA debuts of not one, but two future UFC Hall of Famers. One of them was Tito Ortiz, who competed in the promotion’s lightweight tournament. Of course, back then there were no Unified Rules of MMA so lightweight wasn’t 155lbs. It was actually 200lbs and below, which the 22-year-old Ortiz weighed. In his first-ever MMA fight, Ortiz finished Wes Albritton in just 31 seconds via TKO to advance to the tournament finals against Guy Mezger, who was one of the top fighters in the game at the time. Though Ortiz went on to have a superior career, he lost that night to Mezger, getting choked out by a guillotine choke as Mezger claimed the lightweight tournament crown.
UFC 13: Randy Couture def. Tony Halme via rear-naked choke, 1:00
Also at UFC 13, another future UFC Hall of Famer made his MMA debut as Randy Couture competed in the heavyweight division. Again, there were no Unified Rules at the time and the weight limit for heavyweight was set at 200lbs. In his first-ever MMA fight, the 34-year-old Couture choked out Tony Halme in just one minute. He then finished Steven Graham by TKO to win the UFC 13 heavyweight tournament, his first of many championship titles during his legendary career.
UFC 14: Mark Kerr def. Dan Bobish via chin to the eye, 1:38
At UFC 14 in July 1997, the North American MMA scene got its first taste of “The Smashing Machine” Mark Kerr, who had won the World Vale Tudo Championship just a few months prior. An absolute specimen of a man, Kerr knocked out Moti Horenstein in the first round of the heavyweight tournament before advancing to the finals against Dan Bobish. In a submission that you just don’t see anymore, Kerr was able to force submission from Bobish as he put his chin into the eye and pressed down. It was the first of back-to-back UFC tournament wins for Kerr, who also won the UFC 15 heavyweight tournament.
UFC Ultimate Japan: Kazushi Sakuraba def. Marcus Silveira via armbar, 3:44
At UFC Ultimate Japan in December 2017, we got to see a young Kazushi Sakuraba make his UFC debut in just his second pro fight. Although he lost to Kimo Leopoldo in his MMA debut in 1996, Sakuraba still had some hype around him as one of Japan’s top MMA prospects. At UFC Ultimate Japan, Sakuraba fought Marcus “Conan” Silveira in the heavyweight tournament. Referee John McCarthy incorrectly called a premature stoppage to the fight but back then the rules were much different and they essentially had a rematch the same night. This time, Sakuraba was able to finish Silveira with an armbar to win the UFC Ultimate Japan heavyweight tournament, the first of many accolades in the incredible career of the future UFC Hall of Famer Sakuraba.
UFC 19: Jeremy Horn def. Chuck Liddell via arm-triangle choke, 15:00
At UFC 19 in March 1999, Jeremy Horn took on Chuck Liddell in a battle of future legends of the sport. While Liddell would go on to have a Hall of Famer career and become one of the biggest names ever in MMA, it was Horn who got the better of Liddel at UFC 19, as Horn was able to choke unconscious Liddell for the biggest win of his career. Years later, Liddell was able to exact some revenge when he knocked Horn out at UFC 54.
What is your favorite submission from UFC 11 to UFC 20?
See previous installments of this series: UFC 1 – UFC 10.