All of Charles Oliveira’s UFC submission wins, ranked

Ever since Royce Gracie won the first UFC tournament back in 1993, submission fighting has always been a prominent part of the action that takes place inside the octagon.

As of this writing, Gracie is still somehow among the top five in submission wins, tying Nate Diaz with 10 in the UFC. And just above them is another two-way tie between fan favorites Jim Miller and Demian Maia, who both clock in with 11.

Miller is the only active UFC fighter of that bunch, so don’t be surprised if he’s able to pull ahead as the second all-time submission wins leader before his time is done. That said, Miller will have to go on one hell of a run to close out his career if he means to catch up to Charles Oliveira, who currently holds the UFC record with 16 submissions to his name.

Oliveira, who competes Saturday at UFC 289, has experienced highs and lows throughout his UFC tenure, which began in August 2010. One thing has remained constant: He’s as dangerous as they get on the mat.

Without further ado, below is a ranking all of “Do Bronx’s” UFC submission wins.

Charles Oliveira submits Darren Elkins at UFC on Versus 2 (Aug. 1, 2010)

Even though this bout took place in an era of unaired prelims, the UFC – as it often did back then – was able to sneak this quick finish onto the main card broadcast.

Elkins, who was making his second appearance with the promotion, was able to score a quick takedown early in the fight. Unfortunately for the Indiana native, Oliveira was able to immediately get on a wrist and throw up a triangle choke – brilliantly using a leg hook to adjust his angle for the armbar combo to become the first and only fighter to submit Elkins. Not a bad start with this as a UFC debut.


Charles Oliveira submits Myles Jury at UFC on FOX 17 (December 19, 2015)

Oliveira unfortunately missed weight for this fight (as making the weight eventually became a big problem for him down at 145 pounds), but he arguably made up for it by scoring a sweet submission win.

Myles Jury and his corner – which included future opponent Michael Chandler – were visibly heated due to the weight miss, making this bout “the people’s fight of the night.” But despite Jury’s self-proclaimed credentials in “Jury jiu-jitsu,” Oliveira was able to quickly snatch his neck off of a slick transition from the American’s back.

Charles Oliveira submits Jonathan Brookins at TUF 15 Finale (June 1, 2012)

Although Oliveira closed as the betting favorite for this fight, there was a decent amount of buzz on Jonathan Brookins coming off of his upset win over Michael Johnson to become “The Ultimate Fighter 12” winner.

Brookins was coming off a knockout win over Vagner Rocha and was not afraid to scrap with Oliveira early. Olivera, however, was able to get on top of Brookins in the second round and land enough ground strikes to make the American give up a bad position.

It’s listed officially as a guillotine finish, but the move actually was an anaconda choke variation that Oliveira would later name “the Bronx choke.”

Charles Oliveira submits Will Brooks at UFC 210 (April 8, 2017)

Charles Oliveira after beating Will Brooks at UFC 210.
Charles Oliveira after beating Will Brooks at UFC 210.

Even though Will Brooks had already suffered an upset loss to Alex Oliveira at this point of his UFC tenure, expectations were still high for the former Bellator champion (which is likely why he closed north of a 2-to-1 favorite).

However, once the fight started, Oliveira showed off his underrated wrestling ability from the bodylock by taking down Brooks. From there, Oliveira capitalized on his opponent turtling back to his base by taking Brooks’ back and becoming the first man to submit him.

Charles Oliveira submits Kevin Lee at UFC Fight Night 170 (March 14, 2020)

In what was technically the first crowd-less fight of the pandemic era, it’s hard to forget Oliveira’s finish over Kevin Lee.

Lee was coming off a viral knockout win over Gregor Gillespie, while Oliveira was amid the best winning streak of his entire career.

The first two rounds were filled with fun dogfights on the feet and tactical exchanges on the floor, but Oliveira eventually wrapped Lee’s neck when the American went for a single leg in the third round.

Charles Oliveira submits Andy Ogle at UFC Fight Night 36 (February 15, 2014)

Although Oliveira received a ton of respect in defeat to Frankie Edgar, the Brazilian was coming off of two straight losses and needed a win badly when he met Andy Ogle on this night.

Ogle, who had a reputation for toughness and durability, survived some of Oliveira’s best positions by getting out of back mounts and escaping front chokes alike. That said, Oliveira stayed committed to his game and was able to score a slick triangle in the third round.

I particularly enjoy how Oliveira almost half inverts to create space only to windshield wiper his leg to the other side of Ogle’s neck to secure the submission.

Oliveira submits Clay Guida at UFC 225 (June 9, 2018)

From a technical standpoint, this was basically Oliveira’s patent striking pressure forcing out an ill-fated shot from his opposition.

And though Clay Guida is not beyond being caught by submissions, you have to tip your hat to Oliveira for going into the American’s hometown of Chicago and – at that time – tying Royce Gracie for the UFC’s all-time submission record.

Charles Oliveira submits Christos Giagos at UFC Fight Night 137 (Sept. 22, 2018)

Charles Oliveira submits David Teymur at UFC Fight Night 144 (Feb. 2, 2019)

Although I could see this entry ranked lower on a lot of lists, this fight quietly represents an evolution in Oliveira’s career.

Unfairly characterized as someone who quits when the going gets rough, Oliveira had to overcome some real adversity en route to this win. After sustaining knockdowns and eye pokes alike, Oliveira came back like hell on wheels to hurt his southpaw foe on the feet before eventually finding a finish with an anaconda choke.

Charles Oliveira submits Hatsu Hioki at UFC Fight Night 43 (June 28, 2014)

As someone who was a big fan of Hatsu Hioki from his days on the Japanese scene, I remember being very excited for his showdown with Oliveira.

Hioki’s UFC offerings were admittedly disappointing and inconsistent up to this point, but being paired up with an action-fighting staple like Oliveira was just what the doctor ordered. It was a grappling dogfight from Jump Street, with both men exchanging submission attempts throughout the first seven minutes.

Hioki was able to get Oliveira’s back and almost finish him in the second, but “Do Bronx” flexed his survival skills and created a scramble that led to a fight-winning position.

Not only did Oliveira hit his patented “Bronx choke,” but he did it with the bonus of trapping one of Hioki’s arms with his leg.

Charles Oliveira submits Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 31 (Dec. 15, 2018)

Charles Oliveira and Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 31.
Charles Oliveira and Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 31.

Although Oliveira wasn’t the first person to submit Jim Miller like he initially set out to do ahead of their first meeting at UFC 124, the Brazilian was able to get back his first submission loss to the American.

Oliveira was fresh off a record-setting win over Christos Giagos, while Miller recently snapped a four-fight skid with a victory over Alex White.

Akin to their first meeting, the feeling-out period on the feet didn’t last long before the grappling got started.

This time, however, it was Oliveira who shot the first takedown.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but there was nothing but respect between these two submission-leading legends.

Charles Oliveira submits Efrain Escudero at UFC Fight Night 22 (Sept. 15, 2010)

Despite already competing on a main card broadcast in his UFC debut, this might be the match that really made the general public recognize the then-20-year-old as a prospect to watch.

Oliveira’s opponent, Efrain Escudero, still had high stock as the “TUF 8” winner, which – I assume – helped earn them the co-headliner slot. In fact, I fondly remember this fight card as it marks the first time I ever called in to MMA Junke Radio (mainly to wax poetic about Jim Miller and Oliveira’s performances, of course).

Oliveira showed excellent striking in the first two rounds, but it was ultimately this unforgettable standing rear-nake choke in transition that earns its place high up on this list.

Charles Oliveira submits Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 67 (May 30, 2015)

In what was the second meeting of a heated series, Oliveira’s guillotine finish over Nik Lentz deserves a firm spot on this list.

The first fight ended with Lentz getting rear-naked choked, but the result was officially overturned to a no-contest due to an illegal knee on Oliveira’s end.

Being that Lentz was both hellbent and confident that he could dismantle “Do Bronx” this time around, he gladly accepted the rematch in Oliveira’s home country of Brazil.

Oliveria unabashedly went back to the well with his knees, brutalizing Lentz’s body and breaking his posture down in order to secure a firm grasp on his neck for the first guillotine win of his career.

Charles Oliveira submits Eric Wisely at UFC on FOX 2 (Jan. 28, 2012)

Although this entry lacks name value, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give love to the first calf slicer to go down in UFC history.

Oliveira was dropping down to featherweight for the first time, while Wisely was making his promotional debut. Wisely ended up on bottom early as Oliveira wasted little time jumping on a leg-lock attempt.

The American successfully rolled out of the first heel hook, but Oliveira got a read on the escape the second time around and instead sat up to secure Wisely’s hips for the calf slicer.

Fighters like Brett Johns and Roman Dolidze have since utilized this technique inside of the octagon, but Oliveira was the first.

Charles Oliveira submits Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 (May 7, 2022)

Charles Oliveira applies a hold for the submission victory against Justin Gaethje during UFC 274 (Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)
Charles Oliveira applies a hold for the submission victory against Justin Gaethje during UFC 274 (Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

Although Oliveira had already proven that he could overcome adversity at this point of his career, both the Arizona Athletic Commission and the UFC had something else in mind when they unfairly stripped the Brazilian champion of his title due to an inconsistent scale discrepancy that affected multiple fighters on the card.

However, as with most mistakes made by athletic commissions or fight promotions, the fighters are often the ones left with the bill. Regardless of what Oliveira must’ve been feeling after having his title stripped, “Do Bronx” came out with a fury that matched the red on his fight day suit.

Oliveira had to walk through Gaethje hellfire first, but his noted submission prowess saved him from any follow-ups after being knocked to his back.

Oliveira was eventually able to get a knockdown of his own, where he immediately enveloped Gaethje with submission attempts until eventually getting to the American’s back.

Dana White was quick to rain on Oliveira’s victory lap by reminding him that “you’re still the No. 1 contender,” but even the UFC broadcast booth couldn’t deny who the undisputed lightweight king was.

Charles Oliveira submits Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 (Dec. 11, 2021)

Charles Oliveira at UFC 269
Charles Oliveira at UFC 269

This fight personifies Oliveira’s journey as an underdog.

Not only was Oliveira the underdog from an odds perspective against Dustin Poirier, but the majority of the MMA world was already treating “Do Bronx’s” title win over Michael Chandler as a formality – acting as if a Poirier title reign was inevitable.

The first round was one of the most fiercely fought and highly paced striking rounds you’ll see in MMA. Poirer taxed Oliveira with some classic southpaw counters, but the then-champion was able to accrue some serious body damage throughout the round.

Oliveira was then able to pile on to his momentum with a dominant Round 2 from topside before finding Poirer’s back in Round 3.

After the fight, both fighters showed respect as Poirier offered to donate to Oliveira’s charity for children, demonstrating why fighters like these are true champions.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie