Toby Imada’s inverse triangle was undoubtedly one of the most unique submissions moves we’ve ever seen executed in a mixed martial arts match. But, if you thought it was something Imada just pulled out of his ass in a last ditch effort to win the fight, you’re dead wrong.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Imada explains that it’s a move he practices all the time in training.
It’s something that I’ve always trained. Whenever I get put in a certain situation, I always want to have a few moves I can execute. It just so happened that I ended up with Masvidal holding the single-leg on me and that’s pretty much a gimme. So right there, I just went for it and he didn’t try to get out; he kind of just stood up. So I locked it up and I finished it, just like I did in training a bunch of times before.
Initially, I was like, ‘Okay, I see it; let me try and go for it.’ It went from there to, ‘Okay, lock it up.’ To, ‘Okay, I got it locked up.’ I just grabbed the hip, arch, pull and just hold. It’s not really strangulation where the guy can’t breathe; it’s one of those things where the guy goes to sleep. Just like I said, I’ve done it a bunch of times before. I’ve been able to do it on really high-caliber grapplers and I just knew what to do.
Imada’s submission has garnered quite a bit of buzz for not only himself, but also for Bellator. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney couldn’t be happier, but while it came as a shock to most of us, he says he saw something crazy like this coming thanks to his tournament format.
“I’ve now watched it probably 150 times, trying to figure out if what I am seeing is real and it’s stunning in what Toby was able to do. But more importantly for us as an organization, it speaks directly to everything that I intended Bellator to be. That’s the key.
“When I was envisioning this and I was envisioning the tournament format and the objectivity with an organization that turned its back on matchmaking and allowed the fighters to control their own destiny, I envisioned situations like this.”
Yeah, no comment. Speaking of Bellator’s weekly tournament format, Rebney says it’s been a huge success and plans on sticking with it in their second season, which he believes has a strong chance to make it onto ESPN2 with live weekly events.