ADCC silver medalist Craig jones loves to joke around. He’s also a really good at analyzing opponents for fellow Australian, Alexandar Volkanovski.
Volkanovski first tapped Craig Jones to help him prepare for the highly unorthodox submission artist Brian Ortega. From there it was a no brainer – Jones would help Volkanovski prepare for Dagestani submission wrestling.
What nobody really expected was that Jones would have fun promoting the match up even going so far as to predict Volkanovski would win via heel hook. But once the dust settled Jones previewed the event on his team’s youtube channel and provided interesting insight.
“Well, you guys learned that Sambo is fake. We knew that going into this fight. Islam has had some big submission victories in previous fights predominantly over strikers. He did submit Charles Oliveira, which is obviously very impressive. But Charles Oliveira was almost unconscious at that point. ” – Jones started off.
He admitted he had fun on the promotional circuit but was mostly talking in earnest:
“I was talking a little bit of s***, but it was mostly the truth. And I think we demonstrated that in the fight. Everyone was terrified of these Dagestanis and I think all it took was a few Australians to work out a way to crack this code.”
Jones didn’t pull any punches in his post mortem of Makhachev:
“Islam is an excellent freestyle wrestler. He has excellent throws as well. It combines the wrestling and the judo very well which obviously a lot of Russians do. He does have very good pinning ability.”
“Sambo is not the best pure grappling. Any time a Sambo guy grapples a jujitsu guy and a grappling setting. He gets submitted time and time again. jujitsu is better at submissions than sambo. ”
Craig Jones referenced the recent vicious victory Mikey Musumeci won over sambo champion Gantumur Bayanduuren as well as Quintet edition in which he went up against Team Sambo.
“Obviously sambo has the takedown skills that they take across to MMA, which is which is again, very impressive, but just like I was saying, Islam has excellent takedowns pretty good submissions. ”
“Islam. He takes his Sambo and freestyle wrestling and he throws in some jujitsu techniques. You see, he uses jujitsu moves on the ground. So when we looked at that fight, we knew that Volkanovski would be able to get back up and he would be able to get back up through the Turtle Position anyway, you’re gonna get up in MMA is through turtle, no one’s gonna give you enough space to stand up with that 1990s Technical stand up bulls**t, right? ”
Alexander Volkanovski and Arman Tsarukyan using reverse/standard butterflies instead of old school technical stand up pic.twitter.com/YpW6UMJG43
— calfkicker (@calfkickercom) February 22, 2023
Jones went on to give his estimate of the scorecards:
“I think they absolutely have to do a rematch. Even if it holds up both divisions. That fight was so close. I think he gave round one easily to Islam, round four. Obviously, he held the back the entire time, you have to give it to Islam, round three and five, you have to give to volkanovski. And Round Two was super, super close.”