Craig Jones has become a popular figure in combat sports for more than his success in submission grappling. The Australian martial artist trains and corners the UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. On July 8, ‘The Great’ looks to extend his title reign by defeating Yair Rodriguez. Craig Jones believes he is the number one grappler on the planet after taking out Felipe Pena. — MMA Mania (@mmamania) June 30, 2023
“This one [against Yair Rodriguez] is interesting because, obviously, you couldn’t pick a more different opponent than Islam Makhachev. I had to help him prepare for Islam, I had to try to figure out all the things Islam was doing. Luckily, Yair on the ground is more like a traditional jiu-jitsu guy. He really plays a lot of closed guard, more in my wheelhouse… Much easier for me to figure out than the mysterious Dagestani bullsh*t.”
During the post-event press conference, Jones had this to say about what he accomplished with his latest win:
Jones’ win against Pena extended his legendary resume. The 31-year-old is a 2x ADCC silver medalist with multiple Polaris world championships and a Submission Underground Absolute title. It’ll be intriguing to see if the Lachlan Giles black belt decides to compete against Gordon Ryan again after losing all three of their previous meetings.
Craig Jones discusses the difference between helping Alexander Volkanovski prepare for Yair Rodriguez’s grappling compared to Islam Makhachev
During the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4 post-event press conference, Jones had this to say about the difference between helping Volkanovski prepare for Rodriguez compared to his last opponent, Islam Makhachev: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez will headline UFC 290, which takes place inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, for International Fight Week. Only time will tell if ‘The Great’ can extend his undefeated 11-0 run in the UFC featherweight division.
“I think given Felipe Pena is the pound-for-pound best grappler alive right now, taking him out I believe firmly puts me at number one. It’s hard for me to see anything else to do in this sport because what else is there to accomplish when you’re the number one grappler? Are we gonna take on Santa Claus [Gordon Ryan] or are we gonna drink some beers?”
Craig Jones defeats Felipe Pena via fastest escape time#FPI4 pic.twitter.com/1vdzNfWkLM