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The Greatest Guillotines in MMA History

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UFC 188 will be primarily remembered for the war between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez, which ultimately ended in Werdum sinking in a beautiful guillotine choke and becoming the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. That was one of a remarkable 3 finishes in the event via guillotine – the others by Efrain Escudero over Drew Dober and Patrick Williams over Alejandro Perez. Interestingly, both of those chokes took less than a minute, which had not happened since way back in UFC 12. This has led to UFC 188 being dubbed “The Night of the Guillotine”. In light of that, we’ll take a look at some of the best guillotines in MMA history.

15.) Mike Swick vs Steve Vigneault – UFC 58

It’s not just Swick’s hands that live up to his nickname “Quick”. In this fight, he locked in a guillotine choke in the blink of an eye and from there, Vigneault had no escape. This was our introduction to the “Swickotine” and has to be included in this list.

14.) Joe Stevenson vs Gleison Tibau – UFC 86

Very fondly remembered for his career in the UFC, the winner of TUF 2 Joe “Daddy” Stevenson was coming off a submission loss to BJ Penn in one of the bloodiest and most iconic matches in UFC history. Few expected him to submit BJJ black belt, but when Tibau shot for a takedown, Stevenson did just that with a crushing choke, handing Tibau his first submission loss.

13.) Martin Kampmann vs Thiago Alves – UFC on FX 2

This might be a shock inclusion to some, but the circumstances surrounding the submission make it worthy of a spot in my opinion. For the whole fight, Alves controlled the action and was less than a minute away from earning a dominant decision victory. He hurt Kampmann and backed him into the cage. In an attempt to ensure victory, he shot for a takedown, only to be caught by Kampmann who used the choke to roll Alves over and force him to tap. To snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in that manner was incredible and makes the choke that much more impressive.

12.) C.B Dollaway vs Joe Doerksen – UFC 119

While his most famous submission is the Peruvian necktie against Jesse Taylor, the guillotine that “The Doberman” used to earn submission of the night honours at UFC 119 was a display of how good his submission grappling truly is. When he first went for the choke, it was arm-in and CB knew it would be tough to finish, especially against a fighter like Doerksen. In the ensuing scramble, he let go of the choke before latching on to a straight guillotine. Doerksen rolled and scrambled in a desperate attempt to free himself, but Dolloway matched him and ultimately, the tap came.

11.) Jake Shields vs Robbie Lawler – Strikeforce: Lawler vs Shields

In the midst of a near 7 year unbeaten run, submission specialist Jake Shields met Robbie Lawler in a number one contender bout for the Strikeforce middleweight title. The fight lasted just over 2 minutes, with most of it playing out as a strikering battle. When Lawler pushed Shields towards the cage, Shields took his chance and secured the guillotine and pulling guard. Lawler stood up in an attempt to relieve the pressure, but it was to no avail and Shields emerged victorious.

10.) Scott Jorgensen vs Chad George – WEC 47

To open the top 10, we take a look back to the days of WEC. Scott Jorgensen established himself as a popular fighter while competing for the promotion and this finish in particular sticks in the memory. The fight itself barely lasted 30 seconds, but when Jorgensen secured the standing choke with George backed against the cage, he lifted his opponent off his feet by his neck, leaving him dangling and with no other option than to tap.

9.) Josh Burkman vs Jon Fitch – WSOF 3

The battle of two former UFC fighters with a shot at the inaugural WSOF welterweight title at stake. Fitch was the heavy favourite, and had an infamy for being “unchokeable”. Burkman hadn’t read the script however, and after dropping Fitch, he took hold of the neck and began to squeeze, dropping to his back, and putting Fitch to sleep. However, referee Steve Mazzagatti didn’t notice Fitch had lost consciousness, leaving Burkman to release the hold and leave his limp opponent prone on the canvas. A walkaway guillotine choke of the “unchokeable”? I don’t think Burkman’s place here can be argued against.

8.)  Luke Rockhold vs Michael Bisping – UFC Fight Night 55

In what became a grudge match, Luke Rockhold was looking to make a statement that he was very much in the hunt for a middleweight title shot against the always tough Michael Bisping. After opening a cut on his opponent in the first round, Rockhold dropped Bisping with a head kick and looked for the TKO finish. Bisping attempted to get back to his feet but left his neck exposed which Rockhold was only too happy to jump on, pulling guard before sweeping into mount and finishing the choke one-handed.

7.) Cody McKenzie vs Aaron Wilkinson – The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale

You knew the McKenzietine was going to make an appearance on this list, right? Before his appearance on TUF 12, McKenzie made a name for himself as a guillotine specialist, having 9 successive first round wins using the submission. His time in the house yielded another two, but as these are deemed exhibition bouts, they don’t appear on his record. Facing Aaron Wilkinson at the finale, the question was: Can Wilkinson stop the McKenzietine? We had our answer after just two minutes in which Wilkinson fought off a couple of guillotine attempts, but he was powerless to stop Cody from eventually performing his trademark submission.

6.) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Tim Sylvia – UFC 81

The legendary “Minotauro” Noguiera is one of the best heavyweights of all time, particularly with respect to his grappling credentials. The significance of this fight was huge, with Nogueira aiming to become the first man to have won world titles in the UFC and PRIDE. It took until the third round, but when Nogueira had Sylvia in his half guard, he was thinking of nothing but getting the finish. He hit a textbook half guard sweep and from there Sylvia was in a world of trouble. Nogueira passed to side control almost immediately and when Sylvia spun to try to get to his feet, “Minotauro” showed why his ground game was so feared, guillotining his way into the history books.

5.) Urijah Faber vs Dominick Cruz – WEC 26

When you think of the guillotine, Team Alpha Male automatically comes to mind. And when you think of Team Alpha Male, the first name that follows is normally Urijah Faber. Faber is a choke master and he demonstrated just that at WEC 26 against the previously unbeaten Dominick Cruz. When Cruz shot for a takedown, Faber went straight for the choke but ended up on his back in Cruz’s side control.  The majority of fighters would release the neck at that point, but Urijah knew he could finish it if he could improve his position. By slipping his leg back under his opponent, he regained a better position and skilfully swept into mount. Much like the Rockhold submission earlier, Faber finished it with one arm, arching his body backwards to increase the pressure. All in all, a perfect guillotine to open the top 5.

4.) Fabricio Werdum vs Cain Velasquez – UFC 188

Some will no doubt dispute this being so far up the list, but the fact that this completed the revival of Fabricio Werdum from a man who was released from the UFC in 2008, to becoming the UFC champion at the age of 37 almost 7 years later means it more than merits a place here. After taking control of the stand up in round two, Velasquez was told by his corner that he needed to take Werdum down, such was the confidence in his own grappling ability. It was always a risk going to ground with the man who submitted Fedor Emelianenko and “Minotauro” Nogueira, however, and Werdum sinched in an arm-in guillotine. The smile across his face told the story and a man of his experience knew the champion would have to tap or go to sleep. Werdum proved why he is the greatest grappler in heavyweight history and became the UFC champion.

3.) Joseph Benavidez vs Tim Elliott – UFC 172

Another member of Team Alpha Male, the man with the nickname “Joe Jitsu” belongs in any discussion such as this, but his win over Tim Elliott is certainly the most spectacular of his 5 wins by guillotine. From the moment the fight hit the mat, Benavidez was hunting for Elliott’s neck and once he had moved to the mount, it was only a matter of time and, such was the position Benavidez had put him in, Elliott had to use his feet to tap out. The move became known as the “Joa Constrictor” and was a serious candidate for submission of the year in 2014.

2.) Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida – UFC 140

I was so close to making this number one on the list and easily could have done so. Machida is a BJJ black belt and had never been submitted in his MMA career. He was certainly the biggest test of the career of Jones and the fight left us with one of the most memorable images in MMA history. For the first round and the start of the second, Machida had Jones in genuine trouble. He was winning the bout and Jones needed to do something to turn the tide. That was to occur when he took Machida down and landed a huge elbow, opening up “The Dragon”. The fight returned to the feet with Machida noticeably wobbled. Jones closed the distance, but Machida against the cage and went for the standing guillotine. The awkward angle and extreme pressure put Machida to sleep and when the fight was stopped, Jones released the hold, dropping Machida to the canvas in an unconscious heap. Jones had come through his toughest test yet with an unforgettable win.

1.) Dan Miller vs Dave Phillips – IFL: 2007

For my money, this is the most brutal guillotine of all time. Dan Miller has got one of the tightest chokes in history and has finished numerous fights in this way. Watching this submission, anyone could be excused for worrying for the safety of Phillips as Miller locked in the modified standing guillotine against the ropes and pulled downwards, contorting Phillips’s head and neck into such a position that it didn’t seem physically possible. New UFC Hall of Fame inductee Bas Rutten has described the guillotine as the tightest one he has ever seen – High praise from one of the all-time greats. While this win was not as significant or didn’t come in as high-profile a match as many of the ones previously mentioned, it is, in my opinion, deserving of the title of the best guillotine choke of all time.

Of course, as with any list such as this, there are no doubt people who will agree and those who will disagree with my choices. So if you think a different guillotine was more deserving of the number one spot, or indeed if your favourite was omitted from the list, then by all means comment or get in touch and tell us your opinions!

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate

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Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.

But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.

After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.

The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.

Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.

He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.

In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.

Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 17: Michael Bisping of England steps on the scale during the UFC weigh-in inside the SSE Hydro on July 17, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.

Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.

This is me and Anderson exchanging respect while being attended to by the doctors.

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.

Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.

Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.

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