Islam Makhachev Explains Why He Thinks BJJ Specialists Struggle in MMA

Islam Makhachev Explains Why He Thinks BJJ Specialists Struggle in MMA

The UFC 284 fightcard was a super exciting one. It was headlined by a main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev; with Makhachev taking the decision victory after a great fight.

After the bout, Makhachev approached Craig Jones – Volkanovski’s Jiu-Jitsu coach – and spoke to him.
Jones shared the moment on Instagram, jokingly saying that the Dagestani fighter asked how to finish a Rear Naked Choke.

But what did Makhachev really say to Jones? Craig shared the answer in a recent Submission Radio episode:

I was confused, because he came up, hugged me, and pretended to throw me… And then I thought that the interaction was over.
And then he came up again. That’s why I was, like, is this guy… I was confused that he wanted to talk to me again.

But he just made a joke, he was like: “Oh, you gotta teach your boy how to escape back control.”

Jones has been critical of  Sambo which he said, in and of itself, is bad as a submission grappling art:

[Makhachev] submits people but I don’t think he has good submissions. It’s a wrestling culture. And they have some submissions in Sambo. But Sambo is pretty bad as a grappling art.

So, Makhachev capitalizes on opponent’s bad decisions:

What he does well is hold people down from Half Guard and Closed Guard especially. And, as they make bad decisions, he’s able to pounce on submissions.

Makhachev has also been very critical of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the past.

Islam was recently interviewed by his friend and training partner Daniel Cormier. He explained why some BJJ athletes have trouble in MMA. In his opinion, it’s because they’re used to grappling from the bottom.

“All the jiu-jitsu guys have the same problem, they cannot stay on the top, they all go down. This is a big problem for them,”

“I don’t know anyone from BJJ who has “good wrestling”

“Only people from Dagestan can be good at both  as they have good jiu-jitsu and good wrestling.

Islam previously made a bold statement against BJJ, saying that many BJJ black belts need to be cancelled:

“We have to cancel many black belts [because] they make Jiu-Jitsu look bad. Because a lot of guys have black belt but I don’t know (if they have the skills).”

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