2011 may be one of the biggest years in MMA history. From the Strikeforce purchase to the UFC's deal with Fox, there were some incredible moments inside and outside of the cage. The Bloody Elbow Staff will be discussing the best moments of 2011 and posting the full conversations in the upcoming days. To kick things off, the staff discussed what was the best submission of 2011 and the overwhelming favorite was Frank Mir's kimura on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 140. It was just so unexpected that many of us got caught up in the significance. The other popular choice was Chan Sung Jung's twister over Leonard Garcia. Just the fact that it's a low probability submission made it a clear contender. The fact that we'll likely never see it again kept it in the conversation.
Tim Burke: Chan Sung Jung's twister submission of Leonard Garcia. Case closed.
Josh Nason: Love that one, but want to nominate Tito Ortiz' guillotine win over Ryan Bader and Michael Chandler's rnc sub of Eddie Alvarez, the former for sentimental reasons and the latter because it was a big upset to close a great fight.
KJ Gould: Jon Jones' front chancery choke / prayer choke left a lasting impression, with the way Machida dropped after John McCarthy stopped the fight. No one had ever submitted Machida before, and Shogun remains the only one to knock him out cold.
Brent Brookhouse: I'm going to go with Mir's armbreaker over Nogueira. Nogueira had him practically KO'ed, then went for the choke, Mir survives the submission by a heavyweight MMA submissionlegend and gets his own kimura on and breaks the arm in half? That's submission of the year stuff for me.
Fraser Coffeen: Hate to repeat, but Brent has this. Many, myself included, assumed Mir vs. Nog II would be another standing battle, but instead we got the quick ground war between two Heavyweight Jiu Jitsu greats that we had hoped for - and then Mir snapped Nog's arm like a twig. Nasty? You bet. But clearly the sub of the year.
Dallas Winston: The Korean Zombie's Twister was a lock for this spot until Nog x Mir. One of our last discussions was how "significance" played into annual awards, and that's what launches this one out of the ballpark.
Mir and Nog are traditionally considered the most proven heavyweight submissionists of all time but they were isolated in different organizations for most of their careers. They're both old schoolers who are still pushing at the top level and the way this fight unfolded was downright historic.
David Castillo: All great choices, and while Nog/Mir should be the winner, I think Pablo Garza's flying triangle on Yves Jabouin is worth highlighting. Flying submissions of any kind are so rare, and so awesome. If we're talking submissions on the whole, however, my personal favorite was Vinny Magalhaes' banana split on Daniel Gracie at the Ultimate Absolute.
Matt Roth: I'm going with Mir/Nog as well. I think with everything you have to include significance and being the first man to submit nog really makes it the best of the year. Just watching the whole sequence and arm break. Jeez, I can't think of another submission that caused so many different emotions at once.