In terms of outward admission of inferiority, nothing in mixed martial arts compares to the submission.
The tapout became synonymous with the sport right from the beginning. It all started with Royce Gracie, a lanky and unassuming jiu-jitsu practitioner who changed how the world thought about hand-to-hand combat at UFC 1. Gracie submitted all three of his opponents to win the open weight tournament on Nov. 12, 1993 inside McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. Art Jimmerson was first to experience the Brazilian’s unique set of skills, as he succumbed to a smother choke -- in actuality, he panicked when Gracie mounted him -- 2:18 into the first round of their quarterfinal pairing; next, Ken Shamrock fell prey to a rear-naked choke just 57 seconds into their semifinal showdown; and finally, Gerard Gordeau bowed out to a rear-naked choke in the tournament final, tapping the mat frantically 1:44 into the first round.
Twenty-eight of the first 50 bouts contested under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner resulted in submissions. They remain part of the MMA fabric to this day, with Demian Maia, Ronaldo Souza and other grappling wizards carrying the baton Gracie once held. Some occur quickly, while others need time to develop.
The latest installment of the Sherdog Top 10 series examines the fastest submissions in UFC history:
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Frank Shamrock def. Kevin Jackson -- Armbar, 0:22 (UFC 15.5), Roman Mitichyan def. Dorian Price -- Ankle Lock, 0:23 (“The Ultimate Fighter 6” Finale), Patrick Williams def. Alejandro Perez -- Standing Guillotine Choke, 0:23 (UFC 188), Teemu Packalen def. Thibault Gouti -- Rear-Naked Choke, 0:24 (UFC Fight Night 84), Joseph Duffy def. Mitch Clarke -- Rear-Naked Choke, 0:25 (UFC Fight Night 90), Joe Stevenson def. Melvin Guillard -- Guillotine Choke, 0:27 (UFC Fight Night 9), Scott Bessac def. David Hood -- Guillotine Choke, 0:31 (UFC 7), Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Pierce -- Heel Hook, 0:31 UFC (Fight Night 29)
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