In honor of Ben Suanders and his flawless execution of the first ever omoplata finish in UFC history at UFC Fight Night 49 this week’s Technique Spotlight takes a look at the elusive Brazilian Jiu-jitsu technique the omoplata.

The omoplata is a shoulder lock similar in it’s locking mechanism to the kimura but instead utilizes the leg to apply pressure. Primarily seen as a sweep technique in MMA the omoplata is one of the most difficult submissions to finish in the sport because there is no gi to provide much needed grip and friction.

But because of all the moving parts that go into the execution of the technique the omoplata will likely never be a staple submission technique in MMA but it can be an also be used as an effective sweep from the guard.

Why the omoplata has been underutilized in MMA has always been a head scratcher but the fact that Saunders was able to successfully execute the technique in the UFC will likely start a snowball effect. Expect more fighters to try the technique if not as a submission at least as a sweep from the guard.

MMA like any other athletic competition is “monkey see monkey do”; fighters are always looking for new techniques to add to their arsenal and the omoplata can be a dangerous weapon if used in the right situation. As MMA’s ground game continues to evolve the use of more complex BJJ techniques like the omoplata will be used more and more in bouts.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.