Alexander Volkanovski’s grappling coach Craig Jones believes Brian Ortega is more dangerous on the ground than Islam Makhachev will be.
Volkanovski defended his featherweight strap back in September of 2021 against Ortega in a fight he had to get out of multiple submission attempts. With that, Jones has confidence that Volkanovski will be able to handle Makhachev on the ground.
Craig Jones says Brian Ortega is more dangerous on the ground than Islam Makhachev:
“I think him escaping Ortega's submissions will be more impressive than him escaping Islam’s submissions.”
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“Honestly, Ortega’s more dangerous on the ground. Obviously, Ortega’s taken more losses. His submissions are better than Islam’s. I think Ortega could give Islam a good fight, honestly. So, I mean, I think him escaping Ortega’s submissions will be more impressive than him escaping Islam’s submissions,” Jones said to Submission Radio.
Not only does Craig Jones think Brian Ortega is more dangerous than Islam Makhachev, but he believes Makhachev isn’t all that good on the ground. Instead, he believes all Alexander Volkanovski has to worry about is Makhachev holding him down.
“I mean, he’s just good at holding people down. Like, he submits people, but I don’t think he has good submissions,” Jones added about Makhachev ahead of his fight against Volkanovski. “Like, it’s a wrestling culture, and they obviously have some submissions in Sambo and stuff, but Sambo’s pretty bad as a grappling art. Like, a lot of the Sambo guys enter tournaments, they want heel hooks banned. So, it’s not a complete grappling art on the ground.
“But again, what he does well is his ability to hold people down from half guard and closed guard especially,” Jones continued about Makhachev ahead of his fight against Volkanovski. “Then as they make bad decisions, he’s able to pounce on submissions. But even still, like, obviously it’s hard for me to say this, but even when I looked at him submit Charles Oliveira, if you looked at how he submitted him, he grabbed his neck and he squeezed him as hard as he could. To me, I look at that, I see that as an inefficient choke. If he didn’t get that, he’s burning his arms out. Whereas, I feel like higher-level technique, he’d be able to hold onto that thing for three, four minutes, if you know what I mean.”
What do you make of Craig Jones’ thoughts on Islam Makhachev?