The Rarest MMA Submission of All Time
The “Cobra Hold” has only been performed successfully in a professional MMA bout once in history. The rarest of the rare, this devastating move leaves the opponent in a bind similar to that of a cobra’s grip, rendering half of their body and limbs helpless.
The one time this hold was used to gain a submission was at a Shooto event in Tokoyo, Japan in 2000. Here is the video of JMMA legend Dokonjonosuke Mishima catching Justin Wisniewski with the move. The submission begins around 20 seconds into the video (credit to Reddit user u/Traceur_G for digging this out of the archive):
The broadcast angle makes the complexity of the move hard to see, so here is a demonstration from Mishima showing both a leg split submission as well as the cobra hold.
The move is performed out of a side control, taking advantage of the opponents instinct to guard using the knee while being mounted. The position ends up in a quasi- knee lock, where the joint is rendered useless as all of the leverage is switched from the hips to the middle of the torso, which is not made to bend in that fashion. Mishima finishes the move by doing what looks like a chest fly, holding his opponent’s ankle and back of the neck, pulling them inward toward his chest. Bringing the ear to the torso in this fashion will generate a quick tap out, as Wisniewski can attest to.