UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez has collected nine submissions in his professional career.
Typically, when the fight is over, Benavidez gazes up at the replay on the big screen and admires his work. A submission, as Benavidez says, is one of the "slickest, most beautiful" aspects of martial arts.
At UFC 172 on April 26, however, the replay of a submission Benavidez hit on Tim Elliott actually made him cringe.
Benavidez, 30, tapped Elliott at the 4:08 mark of the first round via guillotine choke. It was one of the most unique submissions of the year in that Benavidez hit the choke from full mount, after he had trapped both of Elliott's arms underneath him. Elliott was rendered so helpless by the submission, he couldn't even tap. The most he could muster was to try to signal the referee he was done by "tapping" with his feet.
"I just remember watching that and getting this claustrophobic feeling for Tim Elliott," Benavidez told ESPN.com. "You don't usually get that feeling with a submission.
"I remember thinking, 'That had to suck.' I imagined it was like being put in a straitjacket and thrown into a swimming pool. Like, now what do you do?"
The finish didn't happen by accident. Benavidez transitioned to the choke from a position in side control he says he loves to drill at practice. He's been in the position so many times, he says he's actually started to bait opponents into trapping their own arms as they attempt to sweep.
Still, in all his years of training, Benavidez has never nailed the move to a point his opponent didn't even have a hand to tap with -- nor has he ever seen anything like that in another fight.
"I've never seen that before," Benavidez said. "And [UFC matchmakers] Sean Shelby and Joe Silva -- who have obviously watched thousands of fights at the highest level -- each of them said they had never seen someone tap with their feet, either. I think it was something that really set that submission apart."
Hard to disagree with that.