If I asked you this question in the pub while watching the UFC (without consulting Google on your smart phone first) who would you say?
Surely it would be a jiu-jitsu world champion, right?
Many BJJ competitors with incredible pedigrees have competed in the UFC. It stands to reason that one of those world champions would have the most submission wins?
Not so fast.
The leaders in submissions might surprise you.
What should NOT surprise you is the number of BJJ black belts on the list.
The most subs in UFC history?
That would be the original winner of the UFC, the legendary Royce Gracie (who most recently beat Ken Shamrock in Bellator).
Royce tapped his opponents out in an era when most people had no idea what was even happening.
When Gracie triangled Dan Severn for the win in UFC 4, how many people watching had ANY idea of what had just happened?
Our understanding of submissions has come a LONG way since those early days, but give Royce credit for submitting heavier opponents who were intent on knocking him unconscious!
In the modern era, the leaders are Nate Diaz (coming off an EPIC upset over Conor McGregor by rear naked choke) and Frank Mir (acknowledged to have the most dangerous guard among heavyweight UFC fighters).
Both American-born BJJ black belts.
Less surprising is multiple-time world champion Demian Maia, who seems to be ahead of most of the pack when it comes to applying BJJ to MMA.
At eight wins (and counting!), Maia appears to have the best chance of breaking the record. He is still highly ranked in the 170lbs division and has not shown any signs of slowing.
Some surprising names would be Brazilian Charles Olivera, multiple time FOTN winner Joe Lauzon, and ATT black belt Cole Miller.
It appears that some fighters are better at making their BJJ work in MMA, which is different than winning sports BJJ tournaments.
Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times : The Most Important 6 Submissions that White Belts Should Learn in Bjj