I'm late to the party on this in terms of posting this, but at Bellator 38 over the weekend lightning appeared to strike twice. First there was lightweight Toby Imada landing an inverted triangle on favorite Jorge Masvidal. Now there's light heavyweight Rich Hale doing the same to favorite Nik Fekete. To wit:
Fekete looked to rely on his wrestling skills early with a double leg takedown, but quickly found himself in a compromised position as the 6'4" Hale hung off his opponent's back, locking in an inverted triangle choke with Fekete still standing. In a déjà vu moment that would make Toby Imada proud, Fekete dropped to his stomach, losing consciousness from Hale's Submission of the Year candidate inverted triangle choke.
The only thing I'll say is that as incredible as this submission is, it's not completely surprising. It's obviously low percentage, but either through height disparity or positional awareness, this won't be the last time we see this. By contrast, I can't say when or if we'll see someone duplicate Anderson Silva's UFC 126 front kick.
That Iranian lift position from a single leg is more common now that it once was. That position alone creates a host of new opportunities. And as we are beginning to see in statistical studies, strong height differential not only helps in the standing portion of MMA fighting, it aides grappling finishes as well.
But let me be clear: I am not disparaging Hale's win. It's a fantastic moment for him and obviously very hard to pull it off. That he had the guts to attempt it and the technical skill to win with it speaks volumes about his promising talent.