Method to the Madness: Breaking down Bonfim’s 49-second submission

Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images

We’re breaking down Gabriel Bonfim’s 49-second guillotine finish at UFC 283 against Mounir Lazzez.

Thanks to long-armed training partners who are at their deadliest when they get to any semblance of a front headlock, I’ve grown to appreciate this attacking position a lot. Guillotines, anacondas, d’arces – these have been my go-to submissions as of late, with which I’ve found more relative success.

I’ve also grown to appreciate watching guillotine finishes more, and every single one I’ve seen in recent memory has been noteworthy, so far. Like this one that happened this weekend at UFC 283.

This was one of those cards where some of the spectacular fight endings went down earlier in the night. Gabriel Bonfim vs. Mounir Lazzez kicked off the prelims, and it was worth sticking around that early.

49 seconds. That was all she wrote. Made the task of writing this breakdown much easier, too.

When you get to secure a good front headlock, you obviously wouldn’t want to let it go. Bonfim seemed to have it here. He appears to have his hands locked underneath Lazzez’s chin. At the very least, he’s confident enough about the hold.

Gabriel Bonfim UFC 283

From this position, your low-hanging fruit options are to either sprawl or pull guard with the aim of sweeping or reversing. In this scenario, Bonfim had more leverage for the latter, and that’s what he went for.

Lazzez appeared to be going for the body lock takedown, and his goal was to lock his hands and pull. Bonfim went a step ahead and pulled guard, essentially assisting Lazzez’s attempt. But with that forward momentum, sweeping and landing on mount also became the path to least resistance.

From this angle, Bonfim appeared to be in a perfect finishing position. The final nail in the coffin was getting that Khabib little mermaid leg wrap. Lazzez’s hip movement is killed, and so are his chances to attempt any form of defense. When you have both of your legs in the air like that, you’re pretty much a helpless little child thrown into a swimming pool.

Let’s face it, we’re in an era in the sport where jiu-jitsu and its black belts are no longer perceived as the same huge threats as they once were. But as this little moment shows, it’s still all about knowing how your weapons work and wielding them as effectively as possible.

About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)


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