Craig Jones: “Sambo Is Pretty Bad As A Grappling Art”

Craig Jones: “Sambo Is Pretty Bad As A Grappling Art”

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.
Opponents are so scared [of them]… So I think a lot of people panic and make bad decisions on the ground.

[Volkanovski] has the approach of “I don’t care if I get taken down, we’ll get back up”.

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.

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