Craig Jones has been coaching Alexander Volkanovski, ahead of his UFC 284 showdown with Islam Makhachev, for quite some time now.
So, as Volkanovski’s grappling coach, Jones has had to take a look and analyze Makhachev’s ground game as well.
He spoke to Submission Radio and explained what makes Makhachev so effective:
It’s just the combination of how he uses judo and wrestling. You very rarely find someone with both skills.
But I think that a part of what makes Islam special and Khabib special is they have that Mike Tyson effect.[Volkanovski] has the approach of “I don’t care if I get taken down, we’ll get back up”.
Opponents are so scared [of them]… So I think a lot of people panic and make bad decisions on the ground.
Jones also went on to say that Sambo, 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.
If you’re ready to add more Sambo to your leg lock entries and your BJJ in general check out Vlad Koulikov’s new Sambo for BJJ instructional from BJJ Fanatics. What you will find is that Sambo may be the perfect compliment to your BJJ as Vlad will share the takedowns, positions, and submissions that will make your progress skyrocket whether you are a young competitor or the average practitioner who has to go to work in the morning, who is looking for an edge on the mats.