Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell is fighting again this weekend and what better way is there to get hyped other than to revisit his signature move?

The Twister is one of those submissions that either seems to be a fluke or the epitome of modern submission grappling. It comes from a very weird position. Like, you’d find yourself there after a scramble rather than actually meaning to. Some “purists” would even scoff claiming that it’s “just a crank”. But it is a very intricate technique. It takes a lot of skill and understanding to pull off.

How does a Twister form?

A common misconception is that the Twister was invented by Eddie Bravo from 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu. While this isn’t true, he did popularize it in the world of submission grappling. Instead, the move originated from wrestling where it was a headlock position called the Guillotine.


To execute this neck+spinal lock, one has to first take control of the opponent’s far/bottom leg. Going 2-on-1 with their own legs. Then the perpetrator has to take control of the opposite side’s arm and pass it under their own armpit, effectively using their head an near arm to isolate the opponent’s arm. Finally, the perpetrator forms a grip on the opponent’s head on the far-side and twists it towards themselves while their hips push in the opposite direction.

Understanding Turtle Position by Gordon Ryan: Jiu-Jitsu & Wrestling

This sequence would typically be used on an opponent in the turtle position.

Whether you end up in this position by accident or by design, executing or even recognizing this move as a possibility takes a lot of understanding and practice.

Twisters in MMA Competition


While there twisters have been seen every now and then in other promotions, they remain relatively rare. Notable Twisters outside of the UFC are Angela Lee’s against Natalie Hills in One FC and Sheina Baszler’s against Keiko Tamai back in Strikeforce.

The UFC only has two Twister submissions in its history book, though Bryce Mitchell has been hard at work trying to change that.


The first ever Twister win is credited to none other than “The Korean Zombie”, Chan Sung Jung, in his second fight with Leonard Garcia. With 10 seconds left, The Zombie utilized his superior grappling to set up the legendary moment that sent the MMA world into a momentary frenzy. Joe Rogan’s legendary commentating recognized the attempt early and relayed what exactly we were looking at. It would be years before we see another.


Enter Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell. A young phenom of a grappler. With a submission-hunting style in his jiu-jitsu, he quickly gained notoriety. It was only in his second fight that he was able to pull off the second Twister in UFC history. A first round win against Matt Sayles.

Bryce Mitchell can't figure out how Charles Rosa didn't tap at UFC 249
Photo courtesy of MMA Junkie

It didn’t stop there though. In his third fight, Mitchell faced a fellow grappler by the name of Charles Rosa and proceeded to put on a grappling clinic. He entertained the fans by constantly hunting for the elusive submission but showed uncanny skill in his transitions.

This weekend, Mitchell faces Andre Fili in what promises to be an exciting match-up. Debuting with his long awaited camo shorts, Thug Nasty will be looking to entertain the fans and make his opponent tap.

By Cahrlo Evangelista

I'm a young college student with an intense passion for cats, food, and combat sports. MMA has been a huge influence on my life over the years and I just want to give back to the community. This sport has so many stories and I want to help tell those stories.

2 thoughts on “Storm Chasing: The Twister”
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