SUG 29 Results: Andy Varela Taps Sean Strickland in Bizarre Main Event

Submission Underground (SUG) 29 took place on Sunday, December 12. In the main event, former SUG title challenger Andy Varela submitted current UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland in a strange match that saw Strickland devoting more effort to histrionics and taunting Varela than actual grappling.

Currently ranked no. 7 in the UFC’s middleweight division, Strickland is known for being a vocal trash talker during his fights, and he carried that same approach over to his grappling match with Varela. Almost immediately at the beginning of the match, Strickland walked backward into the cage and raised his hands, inviting the smaller Varela to try to take him down. Varela would then engage briefly before Strickland pushed him away or momentarily attacked with a heavy collar tie. This process repeated itself for over four minutes.

With less than a minute remaining in the five-minute regulation period, Strickland again raised his hands, inviting Varela to take him down. But this time, Strickland turned his back to Varela. Seizing the opportunity, Varela jumped on Strickland’s back and quickly sunk in a deep rear-naked choke, securing the tap just seconds later.

With the win, Varela extended his SUG win streak to three and picked up his second straight SUG main event win. A 10th Planet black belt, Varela holds an 8-4 record overall with the promotion, and will no-doubt be looking for another crack at champion Mason Fowler.

View the full SUG 29 results and highlights below:

  • Andy Varela def. Sean Strickland via submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Mercedes White def. Tara LaRosa via escape time in OT

  • Tag Team Championship: Team BTT Happy Valley def. Team Toro via escape time in OT
  • John Simon def. Phelan Carron via escape time in OT
  • Matt Ferraiolo def. Travis Moore via rear-naked choke in OT
  • Jesse Hardenbrook def. Jimmy Altman via face crank in OT
  • Kemoy Anderson def. Terren Casson via armbar in OT
  • Colton Vaughn def. Zachary Minteer via submission (key lock)
  • Mark Hamel def. Jason Patterson via escape time in OT
  • Caleb Stecker def. Ian King via rear-naked choke in OT

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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