Video Highlight: The Best Neck and Face Cranks in Bellator MMA

Although neck cranks are often frowned upon in a typical jiu-jitsu gym, they are more than welcome in MMA. In fact, sometimes a neck or face crank in an MMA fight is easier to achieve than a regular rear-naked choke. Bellator MMA has compiled, for your viewing pleasure, a highlight of the best neck cranks in the promotion’s history.

First and foremost, AJ McKee’s submission of the year on Darrion Caldwell might be the best neck crank finish in the history of Bellator or MMA in general. That submission was not only creative and unique, but it earned McKee a spot in the finals of the Bellator featherweight grand prix and a shot at Patricio “Pitbull” Freire’s title.

The video also features another current featherweight, Pedro Carvalho. Carvalho picked up a face crank win over Sam Sicilia in 2019 to advance to the next round of the featherweight grand prix, where he would lose to champion Freire.

We also see a pair of Neiman Gracie neck cranks in the video above. Gracie is a one-time Bellator welterweight title challenger, and although he is coming off a hard-fought loss to Jason Jackson in his last appearance, he remains in the hunt for another title shot.

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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