Undefeated UFC welterweight Shavkat Rakhmonov recently discussed how he views sambo in comparison to Brazilian jiu-jitsu on Morning Kombat podcast. Rakhmonov highlighted some key strengths of sambo but acknowledged areas where BJJ holds advantages.
Rakhmonov credited sambo for effectively blending multiple combat disciplines – incorporating boxing, wrestling and more into a well-rounded system. However, he conceded that BJJ’s development worldwide has allowed its practitioners to advance particular ground techniques, like leg locking, further than what sambo has achieved in those realms.
“I think that jiu-jitsu is better on the ground in and that’s why,” said Rakhmonov. “And jujitsu jiu-jitsu is much more popular sports since the World Sambo, not so much developed in the world.”
“I think that jiu jitsu is better on the ground, and leg locks, and that’s why. ”
So while Rakhmonov clearly takes pride in his sambo base and praises its versatility, he views BJJ as more refined on the ground – likely due to its larger participation globally enabling specialty development. This assessment comes from an athlete bred through a uniquely effective sambo system himself.
Rakhmonov suggested sambo may need to place greater emphasis on areas like leg locks moving forward if it wants to match the advances of BJJ in those facets of ground work. But he still values what sambo has given him within the cage, remaining loyal to the discipline that has fueled his rapid success so far. It will be interesting to see if Rakhmonov incorporates more BJJ techniques over time to complement his sambo foundation.