Apparently, anyone can score the fastest finish in UFC title fight history -- but how about the latest?
All right, so, that's probably not the best argument for crowning Demetrious Johnson's fifth-round armbar against Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC 186 as ESPN.com's 2015 submission of the year, but there is some truth to it, is there not?
The UFC's record for quickest finish in a title fight fell twice this year. First it was a 14-second submission by Ronda Rousey in February for the female bantamweight title. Then featherweight champion Conor McGregor did it one second better, knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194.
Meanwhile, Johnson, 29, waited until literally the last second of his sixth flyweight title defense to put Horiguchi away, securing the tap at 4:59 of the final round.
And you could say Horiguchi was finished already at that point, having lost every round and exhausted by Johnson's pace, but re-watch that final sequence and take in its brilliance. Johnson had Horiguchi in a crucifix, landing unanswered punches but not doing quite enough to warrant a stoppage. You can hear Johnson's head coach, Matt Hume, screaming at him to go for the armbar in the fight's final seconds.
Johnson listens and in less than a second's time, he jumps to full mount, then to the armbar and produces a tap -- and a record that will never be broken.
Anytime a very large man knows his way around the ground game it's always entertaining, and McGeary knows his way around better than most. A light heavyweight champion who prefers to fight with his back to the floor is a rare thing. McGeary's guard game is one of the most entertaining things to watch in MMA at the moment. He secured this baby in his first title defense at the end of a first round Ortiz was actually winning.
It's absolutely mind-boggling that Galvao, a world champion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, recorded the first submission of his MMA career this year, his 12th as a professional. How does that happen? Well, his first was good enough to land him among the top subs of the year. It won him the Bellator bantamweight championship, even though Warren tried to say the fight was called too quickly. Warren never tapped, but he cried out in pain, forcing referee John McCarthy to stop the fight.
4. Ronda Rousey via armbar vs. Cat Zingano (UFC 184 on Feb. 28)
Rousey finished 2015 with a knockout loss, but she began it with arguably her most impressive performance ever. Zingano would say afterward that no one had ever tried to beat Rousey by going directly at her so she figured she might as well try. That strategy proved to be as ineffective as all of those that came before it, as Rousey flipped Zingano over in one fluid motion and wrapped her body around Zingano's right arm.
Charles Oliveira's name is always a good bet to show up on a list of top submissions. His guillotine was not the most famous of 2015 (that distinction goes to Fabricio Werdum's submission against Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight championship), but with the speed and technique showcased in Oliveira's finish -- securing the choke, pulling guard, rotating into mount -- Lentz had no shot. As slick as it was, Oliveira would later hit a very similar submission against Myles Jury in December.