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16th Jan 2017

WATCH: UFC heavyweight scores submission so rare it caught everybody off guard

There's a first time for everything

Ben Kiely

If anyone was going to get the first Ezekiel choke submission in UFC history, it was probably going to be Oleksiy Oliynyk.

Heading into his clash against Viktor Pesta at UFC Phoenix, Oliynyk had 40 submission victories under his belt and remarkably, a quarter of those came by Ezekiel choke.

As long as he kept winning, there was a sense that the veteran heavyweight would eventually wheel the rare submission out in the world’s largest MMA promotion. That moment came for him on Sunday morning, when he was 39 years young.

After tagging his opponent a couple of times in the early exchanges, the Russian grappling master went in pursuit of the takedown. He pushed forward against the cage, but Pesta managed to turn things around and score a takedown of his own, landing in half guard. After a couple of submission attempts and some nasty strikes from the top position, Pesta transitioned into full mount.

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier was working as a commentator for the fight and was actually praising Pesta for using punches to move into the mount position when the Czech Republic native tapped. His co-commentator Jon Anik screamed in genuine surprise as Oliynyk managed to lock in the Ezekiel choke, scoring the submission just 2:57 into the fight.