Craig Jones became a star when he eliminated Leandro Lo from the ADCC back in 2017. The Australian backed up his win over Lo with several other interesting matches and became the Eddie Bravo of our generation.
Despite not winning the golden medal, Jones became a fixture in the lives of most pro grapplers. But Jones has been open about his likely retirement and cited the issues he’s been having with his body.
Jones turned 32 over the summer and might be at the back end of his career when it comes to these intense 16 men tournaments. His ultimate success was being able to market himself – in terms of content creation, seminars, merch and even as a great MMA coach.
On the recent episode of the El Segundo podcast, Jones detailed:
“I’m at the point where like, if my body breaks down I’m just gonna be like ‘you know what? Let’s call it a day’ you know? I just mean I’ll stop training, you know?”
“I don’t know if I’ll do ADCC, you know? It’s a tough one, ey. It’s a lot of work you know? it’s a big commitment of time.”
“I’ll tell you what, the only reason I wanna do it is because you’ve done ADCC how many times? And I’ve done it 4 times so I wanna just remind you that I will be in the five-timers club, you know? But then you might just surprise and show up for a fifth one.”
Jones certainly has his options cut out for him. ADCC prizes have been kept steady at $50,000 for the winner – never having actually won, Jones participated for less than what he’s getting for a one off match currently.
There’s also the physical component of it all. To make it to the ADCC four times, the accumulated damage is likely impressive. But at the very least it’s comforting to see Jones be able to translate his BJJ success in a lucrative career in podcasting and coaching MMA.
Jones is a fixture in the corner of Alex Volkanovski and he’s put in time training Israel Adesanya and Leon Edwards recently.