Craig Jones predicted the Danaher Death Squad breakup prior to Puerto Rico move

The Danaher Death Squad experienced a seismic split in recent years, giving rise to the formation of the New Wave and B Team, an evolution that has captivated the BJJ community.

Initially honing their skills in Renzo Gracie’s iconic blue basement in New York, the Danaher Death Squad’s ranks grew over time with notable additions such as Nick Rodriguez and Craig Jones. However, the team underwent a significant transformation in 2020 when they departed New York and shifted their training base to Puerto Rico. Eventually, this Puerto Rico chapter marked the beginning of their divergence.

In an intriguing twist, the team’s journey took them to Texas, a pivotal shift that marked the formal creation of the New Wave and B Team. This shift brought forth questions and curiosities from enthusiasts and fans alike, as the dynamic group navigated uncharted waters.

Craig Jones, an integral member of the squad, offered insights into the split, referring to Puerto Rico as an “Apocalypse now.” He shared his perspective on the unfolding events:

“At the time with the split, I got along very well with John (Danaher). I feel like me and him connected very well… because he missed a familiar accent, an Australian, New Zealand accent.”

Nicky Ryan, another key figure, shed light on the evolving dynamics among the members:

“Initially, during the initial split, (Gordon and I) definitely hated each other at the beginning. But it’s definitely started to calm down actually…”

Despite the initial turbulence, Nicky Ryan emphasized the reasons behind the split:

“I think it was definitely like a justifiable reason for the team splitting… It started affecting training… People didn’t feel comfortable… so I definitely think that it was a justifiable reason to split.”

However, it seems that the signs of the impending transformation were discernible even before the Puerto Rico move. A revelation surfaced through Robert Degle on The Simple Man podcast, where he shared insights from Ethan Crelinsten’s caution against relocating to Puerto Rico.

Craig Jones was evidently perceptive, as he foresaw the shift. Damien Anderson recounted Jones’s prophetic words:

‘Craig called it before anything happened. He’s like, I can see this, this is a sinking ship.’

Degle added depth to Jones’s foresight, recounting a conversation from their time in Renzo Gracie’s blue basement locker room:

‘When the team was going to Puerto Rico he said to me, ‘I think this is the end of the DDS.”

“Big thanks to the best coach in combat sports. I was luckily enough to be included into the DDS when they were a well established team. They welcomed me in and helped me reach new heights in the sport. They changed the sport of grappling forever and brought more eyes and money to it than anyone before them. Can’t wait to see where everyone goes from here. I know they will all keep killing it. Lastly, I’m not Yoko Ono, maybe Jimmie Nichol. @danaherjohn” – Jones captioned his farewell

Nick Rodriguez, while possibly less attuned to the unfolding developments, experienced firsthand the practical challenges of Puerto Rico, where AC and power outages underscored the unfeasibility of maintaining the status quo.