Even though Alexander Volkanovski lost to Islam Makhachev at UFC 284, Craig Jones remains adamant that Sambo isn’t really that much of a “superpower” that many seem to think it is.
Namely, Jones first made comments about Sambo as a grappling art before UFC 284:
[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 submission grappling art.
Though, as the match ended, many were thinking – was this just a “hype thing”? Was Jones simply trying to hype up the fight between Volkanovski and Makhachev… Or not?
Well, he decided to clarify his comments in a new interview for the Submission Radio:
At the end of the day, a submission is a submission and the best submission artists aren’t in Dagestan.
They submit people because they exhaust people really. But like, it’s not the best submissions in the world.
Obviously they’re very good at what they do, but in a pure submission sense, you know, I mean, there’s room for Jiu-Jitsu there.
Jones also commented on Sambo athletes’ ability to pin people:
Like, obviously they really get a whole lot people down on the ground. But the best guys at holding people down are folk style wrestlers.
The best submissions are (from) Jiu-Jitsu guys, the best guys at pinning people are folk style guys.
But obviously, what Dagestan does so well are the takedowns combined with Judo, which I think makes this style of freestyle wrestling.