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2017 Submission of the Year: Demetrious Johnson’s Mind-Bending Armbar

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For UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 2017 was simultaneously tumultuous and historical.

Though he fought only twice in 2017, it was a banner year for Johnson in that he overcame fights falling apart to first tie and then break the UFC record for most consecutive title defenses. Not only that, he pulled off one of the most impressive armbars that we’ve ever seen.

After taking out Wilson Reis in April, tying Anderson Silva for the consecutive title defenses record, the UFC tried to get Johnson to take a fight with TJ Dillashaw. Opting instead to remain in a bout with Ray Borg, things got complicated. 

Johnson and Borg were slated to headline UFC 215 in September. The bout was canceled the day prior to the event when Borg fell ill. They were subsequently rescheduled to meet at UFC 216 in October, this time making it all the way to the Octagon. 

Though Borg gave Johnson everything in his gas tank, Johnson showed throughout the fight why so many consider him the greatest of all time. And he only served to punctuate the point with the way he finished the fight. 

While an armbar finish may not sound so awe inspiring, there are numerous ways to apply an armbar to finish a fight. Just ask Ronda Rousey, who made a career off of her armbar variations, finishing her first 11 mixed martial arts opponents by way of the submission.

No one, not even Rousey, had shown the amazing transition to the armbar in a fight that Johnson pulled off.

While Johnson throttled Borg frequented throughout the bout, the end came when he picked Borg up and started to suplex him to the canvas. Amazingly, as Borg was in the air and crashing to the canvas, Johnson hooked his arm, threw his leg over as Borg landed, and extended the arm for the finish. 

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No words can do it just, as Johnson landed in the record books and earned the 2017 Submission of the Year.

Check it out in the UFC video below.

2017 Submission of the Year: Demetrious Johnson’s Armbar in Slo-Mo

(Courtesy of UFC)

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