5 Reasons Why BJJ Star Tommy Langaker Is Such An Elite Submission Grappler
Tommy Langaker is undeniably one of the most exciting additions to ONE Championship’s growing roster of world-class submission grappling athletes.
At ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on Prime Video, the Norwegian BJJ star will return for his second appearance on ONE’s global stage when he squares off against four-time Sambo World Champion Uali Kurzhev.
Martial arts fans should get to know Langaker and his thrilling approach to competition before that clash on February 24, as he could very well be a future ONE Submission Grappling World Champion.
With that said, here are five reasons why Langaker is one of the absolute greatest and most dangerous submission stylists on the planet today.
#1 He’s Long Been Europe’s Best
The 28-year-old has been at the forefront of the high-level European grappling scene for years.
A 2020 IBJJF European Champion, he’s been carrying the torch for the continent since receiving his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in 2017.
In addition to his European title, Langaker has taken home gold at a number of major tournaments in the black belt ranks, including the Paris, Sweden, London, Copenhagen, and Dublin Opens, firmly establishing himself as Europe’s premier competitor.
#2 His Absurdly High Submission Rate
Langaker is never interested in eking out a points or decision victory. Instead, he’s a buzzsaw of action, constantly advancing his position in relentless pursuit of a submission finish.
With that ultra-aggressive style, it’s no surprise that the jiu-jitsu sensation possesses an incredible 64 percent submission rate, all while competing against other world-class black belts.
To that end, a number of Langaker’s most significant wins have come by way of submission.
Those include victories over fellow ONE submission grappling star Renato Canuto, Pan American Champion Michael Liera Jr., and multiple-time European Champion Marcos Tinoco.
#3 His Seemless Transition To No-Gi Submission Grappling
For the vast majority of his accomplished career, the Norwegian standout competed exclusively in the gi (the traditional BJJ uniform). But in 2022, he made the switch to no-gi competition – and immediately made waves on the elite scene.
In a testament to his unparalleled technical prowess and computer-like understanding of grappling, Langaker won the ADCC European Trials in just his second-ever no-gi appearance, defeating seven straight opponents to punch his ticket to the prestigious ADCC World Championships.
Simply put, he’s only getting started in no-gi submission grappling but is already one of the sport’s most feared athletes.
#4 His Insane Back-Takes
Langaker can do it all and attack from every position, including the guard, top position, and even on the feet. But the foundation of his game – and undoubtedly his most threatening technique – is his ability to take his opponent’s back in the blink of an eye.
Indeed, across his 77 submission wins as a black belt, his most frequent finish is the choke from the back position.
Langaker showcased those elite skills in his ONE Championship debut against BJJ World Champion Canuto when he rolled from a standing position directly onto his foe’s back, even trapping an arm in the process.
The Norwegian’s beautiful display of technique in that match, which was punctuated by that dramatic back-take, also earned him a US$50,000 performance bonus.
#5 His Unbelievably Flexible Guard
The BJJ black belt is a top-end, well-rounded athlete. But perhaps his best physical attribute is his ridiculous flexibility, which makes for a practically unpassable, dangerous guard.
Honed through stretching and training at the highest level, Langaker’s flexibility creates serious problems for any opponent wanting to pass his guard.
Again, this trait was on full display against Canuto, who – despite being one of the world’s best passers – was never able to make any headway on Langaker, getting constantly caught up in a complex web of limbs.