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Ultimate Submissions: Worth the Wait for Smarks Like Us.

By: J. Alex Mattis

As fun as it has become to pick up the newest “Ultimate Knockouts” DVD, grab a pizza, tell your buds to come over with a 12-pack and just watch the whole thing while constantly rewinding to watch epic punch-faces – it can leave something to be desired to smarks of MMA.

I doubt I will ever tire of seeing Chuck KO’ing Tito or watching Yves Edwards flying-headkick Josh Thompson off his feet but I, along with many others, have always pined for a “Best of” type DVD that captures the grappling aspect of the complex sport. Well, our cries have been answered as the newly-released “Ultimate Submissions” DVD is sure to leave you satiated by paying respects to the best technique and grappling in the UFC’s recent, and ancient, history.

The Feature:

The program flows just like any “Ultimate Knockouts.” Each fight (30 featured bouts) is shortened to the finish with a brief explanation of the history heading into the fight being given. And, of course, Mike Goldberg’s audible chocolate narrating the entire program.

We weave in-and-out of submissions, not following any particular timeline. If the fight was particularly memorable (MacDonald-Maia, Story-Foster) we see highlights from the earlier portions of the bout.

Fans of Chris Lytle, Frank Mir, Demian Maia, and BJ Penn will love reliving their scintillating submissions from the past few years.

The feature flies right by, but every second of it is enjoyable.

The Bonus Features:

The UFC was kind enough to arrange a great assortment of fights to include in the bonus section. Coolest part? It’s the only way to get a lot pre-TUF era fights on Blu-Ray. I could list them all but instead I’ll just tell you that one of the greatest fights ever, Matt Hughes-Frank Trigg II, is part of the package. Some other fun ones were thrown in: Mir-Tank, Hughes-GSP I, Stevenson-Guillard.

What I believe should be the selling point for this DVD are the “From the Vault” bonus fights. We’re talking Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, and even Sakuraba, all from the early, Harold Howard days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Clips and highlights of Royce Gracie have been featured on UFC DVD before, but the “From the Vault” extended feature is a first. Here’s to hoping it’s not a one-and-done.

Rounding out the bonuses is a fairly epic montage called “Just Won’t Tap.” “Man, I was really hammered for UFC 111 because I did not remember GSP’s armbar attempt on Dan Hardy being that nasty” more accurately fits what I got out of it. The video scrolls through numerous times fighters refused to tap: Rich Franklin fending off Travis Lutter’s armbar, Matt Hughes getting out of BJ’s triangle-choke, Paulo Thiago choking Mike Swick unconscious, etc. The video also features Steve Cantwell’s infamous armbar on Razak Al-Hassan… it is still very hard to stomach.

The Presentation:

Standard UFC box art, features Ken-Flo sinking in a RNC on Joe Daddy and GSP looking like he ate way too much ice cream way too fast. Back cover displays all the “featured bouts” and Dustin Hazlett muggin’ for the cam. The disc art features, once again, GSP as he attempts to remove Matt Hughes’ arm from his body.

The menus are very easy to browse in-and-out of and feature a bunch of dudes tapping out in slow-mo set to music that Ridley Scott is destined to steal and include in his next Russell Crowe movie.

DVD Details:

-Feature highlights 30 submissions from the UFC’s past and present.
-20 full-length bonus fights
-Mike Goldberg
Duration – 158 Minutes
Available on both DVD & Blu-Ray