picture source: bjjstyle.com
Leandro Lo went into the ADCC as one of the biggest favorites of his division. That was all a dream that was rendered mute in the first round after a spectacular performance by Craig Jones.
Jones recently explained to gentrleartmagazine how he came to score an impressive victory over Lo:
Well, I mean like… Leandro … like he’s just a legend. I’ve watched so much of his matches and I just knew going in there like [that this] guy was an animal because he rarely taps to anything other than chokes. So, mentally I was like I’m going to have to choke this guy if I really want to get the finish but at the same time I knew [that] if I had applied the heel hook correctly it could do some damage and maybe lead favorably to me in a point scoring battle. So, I was like, if we’re going to go to overtime before going to stand up and he took Gordon down a couple times, so I knew he had some wrestling.
I was like, in my mind, I want to do some damage to a leg and in one of those heel hooks I put on I heard his leg completely tear in half and I was like … I was shocked that he didn’t tap. Like I was shocked but I mean having seen him not tap to Erberth Santos knee bars and stuff, I [knew] it’s going to be kind of be hard to get the finish but I think it definitely shook his confidence and did a fair bit of damage. So, that definitely helped, I think, with that sweep. I was able to sweep him out of another leg lock attempt and I think he was off base because his leg was shaking. Actually he was … he was limping for – this is a funny story actually – he was limping for two days after to the tournament. I mean that’s not funny, I feel bad, but he was limping for two days, he gets a couple beers into him for the after-party on Sunday night and he’s shirtless dancing on the dance floor like he’s not injured at all. That’s why I love that guy
Ultimately Lo didn’t even signing up for ADCC Absolute division. And Jones’ journey in that division ended early after Gordon Ryan eliminated him.
As for Jones he went on to score more impressive submission victories over Chael Sonnen and Murilo Santana and in fact his involvement in Absolute division wasn’t a given from the start. Jones revealed:
Yeah, so I mean I finished my bronze medal match with Xande and I was hanging out with my coach Lachie and he was like, “Oh, we should get a beer,” so like I go to the bar, I start drinking a beer with Lachie and there’s a guy … there’s an older guy there with like a thick American … a thick New Jersey sort of accent and he was telling me how he’s Gordon’s dad and stuff, so actually I drunk a beer with him for about, I don’t know, 10, 15 minutes. I don’t know.
Yeah, he’s actually an entertaining guy then I started walking away … I’d actually … before I had the beer, I had gone home, showered, got changed. I finished the beer I was walking around and then Mo … one of the organizers of the event, comes at me and he’s like, “You should do the absolute, you should do the absolute,” and I’m like “Nah man, it’s been rough, it’s been a rough weekend. I’m pretty tired”. Like, with the jet lag and stuff I was waking up at 2 AM those days should have pretty flown in earlier but Moe comes at me and he’s like “I will give you Chael Sonnen for this round if you do the absolute,” and I was like, “Okay. It’s going down. Put me in.