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2011's Unofficial Half-Year Awards: The Submissions

The Highly Unofficial Half-Year awards continue with the top submissions of 2011 thus far...
2011 has already seen its share of memorable submission wins, from those that dazzled with technical excellence to ones that pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. Here are five of the best thus far.

5 – Lentz pulls off late comeback
Unbeaten in a UFC career that began seven fights ago, in 2009, Minnesota’s Nik Lentz lives up to the old adage “refuse to lose.” Case in point, his March battle with fellow wrestler Waylon Lowe, which wasn’t going so well for him during the first 10 minutes. Entering the third and final round, Lentz was trailing on the scorecards, and while he willingly stood and traded blows with Lowe, nothing seemed to be making a dent in his opponent’s chin. Then came Plan B, and as Lowe looked for yet another takedown, Lentz found his neck and submitted him via guillotine choke for one of the most stirring comebacks of the year thus far. The submission wasn’t bad either. WATCH FIGHT REPLAY

4 – Weidman powers his way to win over Bongfeldt
After aggravating a knee injury during his UFC 131 bout with Jesse Bongfeldt, Chris Weidman might have panicked, given that it was only his sixth professional MMA fight. But instead, the New Yorker stayed calm, waited for his moment, and even though it came with just seconds remaining in the first round, when he was able to lock in a standing guillotine choke on his opponent, he went all in to finish, and he did, getting Bongfeldt to tap out at the 4:54 mark of the round. WATCH FIGHT REPLAY

3 – Lauzon is one nasty finisher
A lot of fighters like to brag about their submission skills before a bout, saying “yeah, I’m gonna take his arm home with me.” Well, that doesn’t really happen now, does it? Joe Lauzon didn’t say such things before his June bout with Curt Warburton, but he almost pulled it off (pardon the pun) with a vicious kimura that followed a knockdown that you thought the New Englander was going to use to finish the fight with strikes. Instead, he yanked at Warburton’s arm and got the tap out with one of the most painful looking kimuras we’ve seen in a while. That Lauzon, he isn’t getting paid for overtime; he’s a finisher. WATCH FIGHT REPLAY

2 – Garza takes to the air to submit Jabouin
The odds of Pablo Garza topping his highlight reel knockout of Fredson Paixao in December of last year against Canada’s Yves Jabouin in April were slim and none. That’s how devastating the finish was. So what did the North Dakota product do for an encore? Only a flying triangle that thrilled the over 55,000 fans in Toronto’s Rogers Centre and those watching at home. And while Garza didn’t initially finish the bout when the two hit the mat, he did so seconds later, garnering him an A for effort and for the eventual tap out by Jabouin at 4:31 of the first round. WATCH UFC 129 REPLAY

1 – “The Korean Zombie” makes submission history

Before Chan Sung Jung’s March rematch with Leonard Garcia, you might have assumed that the fight game of “The Korean Zombie” started and finished with his ability to brawl. Maybe Garcia, who defeated Jung in their classic 2010 bout, figured the same thing. He might have even thought that he was safe as the seconds wound down in round two in Louisville. But that’s when Jung struck with Eddie Bravo’s “Twister,” a painful maneuver that had never finished a fight in the UFC – well, up until Garcia’s tap out at 4:59 of the second round. WATCH UFC FIGHT NIGHT LIVE REPLAY

Honorable Mention – Clay Guida-Takanori Gomi, Yves Edwards-Cody McKenzie, Daniel Roberts-Greg Soto, DaMarques Johnson-Mike Guymon, Jon Jones-Ryan Bader, Kyle Noke-Chris Camozzi, Brian Bowles-Damacio Page, Rousimar Palhares-Dave Branch, Gleison Tibau-Rafaello Oliveira, Tito Ortiz-Ryan Bader

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