The omoplata is a joint lock used in mixed martial arts and submission wrestling. The joint lock hyperrotates the shoulder joint causing pain and the submission. If the opponent chooses not to submit then they risk torn ligaments and tendons in the shoulder joint.
This lock is not seen very often in mixed martial arts competition. This is perhaps due to the fact that if not done properly, you will be giving the opponent a good opportunity to pass your guard. But that is not to say that it can not be used effectively. Here are just a few examples of it being used with great success in MMA fights…
Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira’s use of it during a beautiful transition in his fight with Enson Inoue on the PRIDE 19-Bad Blood card. That transition ended in him tapping Inoue with a triangle choke.
Frank Mir’s use of it to transition into a toe hold on David “Tank” Abbott in UFC 41-Onslaught.
Joe “Diesel” Riggs use of it to sweep Chris Lytle and escape form the bottom position in their fight on the UFC 55-Fury card.
As you can see from the examples above, the technique can be used for much more than just submitting an opponent. It can be used as a sweep (a technique that allows you to escape the bottom position and gain the top position). It can also be used to set up other grappling submission holds.
Omoplata from the closed guard
Omoplata from the open guard
Nino “Elvis” Schembri puts the technique into action during a submission grappling match.