It takes a special kind of cojones to stare down permanent injury and say "Eff it, I ain’t tappin’." Inspired by the DVD we’ve been plugging lately, we decided to pay tribute to the technical submission — that thrilling moment when a fighter is caught in a health-threatening submission hold, but is too
stupid much of a warrior to concede defeat, so the referee has to do it for him. Because as a wise man once said, "Tapping out is for bitches." Enjoy…
After their first chaotic mess of a bout was ruled a “Technical Draw,” Gracie and Sims met again in the IFL for another technical ending. Though Sims has always had a hazy understanding of the rules in any given MMA bout, he got taken down too quickly to launch any illegal stomps in this one, and had to settle for giving up his back and then trying to grab on to the ropes (thankfully Stephen Quadros reminds him that he can’t do that) as Gracie stayed on him like a backpack and choked him unconscious. There’s nothing quite like seeing a 6’10” guy drop to the canvas like somebody just pulled his plug. Sleep well, buddy.
Thanks to Shammy’s pioneering work in video trash talk, this fight was epic before it even began. Strikeforce’s first middleweight title fight paired two loud-mouthed badasses who would never admit defeat — but unfortunately, there could be only one champion. After battering the NYBA with punches for almost two full rounds, Shamrock took Baroni’s back, wrapped an arm around his neck, and squeezed. While most men would tap to the hold, Baroni went out like a warrior, throwing punches into Frank’s mug until he lost consciousness. Shamrock celebrated his win by shoving Baroni’s lifeless body then kicking him in the ass, proving that he wasn’t just the better fighter that night, he was also the bigger asshole.
#6: Marcus Aurelio vs. Takanori Gomi
Pride: Bushido 10, 4/2/06
Gomi was riding an impressive ten-fight win streak in Pride when he came up against American Top Team’s Marcus Aurelio. Gomi had just beaten Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in the 2005 lightweight Grand Prix, and seemed to be near unstoppable. That is, until Aurelio got him on his back. Aurelio passed his guard without much trouble and locked up an arm triangle. Though Gomi’s hand seemed to want to tap, his spirit wouldn’t allow it. Instead his arm fell limply to the canvas, forcing the Pride ref to try the old pro wrestling resistance test before concluding that “The Fireball Kid” was really out. For weird reasons that only made sense in Pride, this wasn’t a title bout. Gomi not only woke up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, he also woke up still the champ. How often does that happen?
#5: Demian Maia vs. Ed Herman
UFC 83, 4/19/08
Did you know there was a time when not everyone in the UFC was aware of what a jiu-jitsu badass Demian Maia is? It’s true, but his complete domination of Ed Herman helped educate the masses right quick. Herman was coming off three straight wins, including a knockout of Joe Doerksen and a submission victory over Scott Smith, but he soon discovered it was a bad idea to be on the ground with Maia. Herman spent most of the first round trying, without success, to stay on his feet. After narrowly avoiding a few submissions, Herman powered his way right into a triangle choke in the second round. When he wouldn’t tap, Maia flipped him over and pounded on him a little while waiting for him to give up or lose consciousness. Herman chose the latter, though it was all the same to Maia.
#4. Dan Miller vs. Dave Phillips
IFL 2007 Semifinals, 8/2/07
Brutal Choke Out – Watch more Funny Videos
Don’t worry, Dave Phillips’s head didn’t actually snap off his neck — it just looks that way. Described by IFL commentator Bas Rutten as the tightest guillotine choke he’d ever seen, Dan Miller put himself on the MMA map with this gruesome first-round submission in his IFL debut for the New York Pitbulls. Personally, I would have given up as soon as I realized that my head was upside-down, but Phillips does his best to hang on until it’s blackout-time. I guess you could call that a moral victory.
Right away something about this fight seemed strange. The last WEC light heavyweight champ, Cantwell made his UFC debut at the benefit show for injured U.S. troops against newcomer Razak Al-Hassan, who may or may not have been chosen because he had a foreign-sounding name (despite fighting out of Iowa). Al-Hassan began the fight by walking straight into Cantwell’s punches with his chin held high, further suggesting that maybe he wasn’t quite ready for the UFC, but was ready to spot incoming aircraft.
After stinging him with a few good shots, Cantwell got him down, passed his guard and mounted him, then locked in a tight armbar. Apparently nobody bothered to tell Al-Hassan that he could tap out if he was in trouble, because he never seemed to consider it. Instead he let Cantwell crank his arm until it made everyone feel a little sick just to look at it. Afterwards Cantwell was a little too excited about injuring another human being, saying he’d “been waiting so long to do that.” Let’s dial it down a notch, Steve.
Gracies don’t tap — especially not to the armlock that has haunted their family for decades. Kazushi Sakuraba had already beaten Royler and Royce Gracie in PRIDE matches, picking up the nickname “Gracie Hunter,” before his classic fight with their cousin Renzo. In the closing seconds of the battle, Sakuraba latched a standing ude-garami onto Renzo’s left arm. The ude-garami, of course, has been commonly known as the “kimura” ever since Masahiko Kimura used it to defeat Helio Gracie in 1955 (Helio didn’t tap, by the way), and coincidentally, Sakuraba used the lock to score a technical submission over Helio’s son Royler the year before he faced Renzo (Royler also didn’t tap).
Anyway, Renzo’s elbow snapped as Sakuraba pulled him to the ground, and as Kazushi continued to extend the lock, the break became ghoulishly visible. In true Gracie fashion, Renzo refused to surrender. The referee stopped the match, and an unaffected-looking Renzo got up, put his arm in a sling, took the mic, and made a congratulatory speech to his opponent. Renzo later called out his refusal to tap during the fight as his greatest achievement in mixed martial arts. What the hell is wrong with these people, anyway?
#1. Frank Mir vs. Tim Sylvia
UFC 48, 6/19/04
It remains the most famous bone-breakage in UFC history — and the Maine-iac still wanted to fight through it. Less than a minute into the heavyweight title match at “Payback”, stripped ex-champion Tim Sylvia slammed rising hotshot Frank Mir onto his back, where Frank immediately snatched one of Timmy’s meathooks in an armbar. He cranked it until Sylvia’s forearm visibly snapped, but Tim wasn’t ready to give up so easily. In fact, the fight might have had a completely different outcome if Herb Dean hadn’t stopped the fight in horror.
Though Sylvia claimed he was okay to continue, an x-ray performed later that night showed that his radius bone was indeed broken. Mir’s legendary technical submission over Sylvia earned him the UFC heavyweight strap (and a BJJ black belt from Ricardo Pires), and cemented his rep as a terror on the ground, while Tim gained some grudging respect as a tough son-of-a-bitch who wouldn’t quit over something as insignificant as a destroyed limb.
Did we forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments section…