Across the seven events this year, the EFC Hexagon saw plenty of submission victories. My submission of the year takes us right back to March 2012 and EFC 12, when Wesley Hawkey and Denzil Wait entered the Hexagon to determine the number one featherweight contender.
Hawkey was touted to have the superior standup, while many believed Wait would hold an advantage on the ground. What transpired was equally unexpected and impressive. After landing up on his back early, Hawkey effortlessly slapped on a tight armbar, which Wait, lifting Hawkey off the ground, barely managed to escape. Minutes later however, Wesley Hawkey managed to conjure up another top-drawer armbar out of thin air. This time Hawkey kept Wait on the mat, forced the tap and earned his featherweight title shot in emphatic style.
Wesley Hawkey's spectacular submission victory over Denzil Wait was one of only four armbar submissions in 2012.
Submission of the year - Notable mentions
Michiel Opperman vs Martin van Staden
After being taken down early in the first round of their EFC 13 fight, Michiel Opperman weathered an early storm from Martin van Staden. Opperman held his nerve, worked his way back to standing and sunk in a tight standing guillotine choke to win the fight and earn himself a welterweight title shot against Jadyson Costa.
Demarte Pena vs Wesley Hawkey
In a fight that Hawkey was undeniably winning on points, Demarte Pena showed great awareness, composure and skill to grasp a rare opportunity and sink in a fight winning rear-naked choke. The submission victory kept the belt around Pena’s waist and his undefeated record firmly intact
Michiel Opperman vs Jadyson Costa
Michiel Opperman stunned the MMA community when he defeated Jadyson Costa by submission at EFC 16. Opperman, a severe underdog, sunk in a rear-naked choke in the first frame to defeat the BJJ black belt and become the EFC Africa welterweight champion.
To see all award winners, visit my 2012 MMASA Awards page