Craig Jones, a name synonymous with the elite level of grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), is a figure that commands respect in the martial arts community. Born on July 17, 1991, in Australia, Craig has risen through the ranks to become one of the best bjj fighter and competitors and coaches in the sport. With his prolific submission skills, he has secured his place as a top contender in prestigious grappling tournaments around the world. Not only is he known for his competitive achievements, but Craig has also contributed to the sport as a knowledgeable coach, imparting his techniques and strategies to students and practitioners of BJJ.

Throughout his career, Craig’s grappling style has evolved, showcasing a blend of technical proficiency and creative strategies that have made him a fan favorite. His dedication to the sport is evident in his continuous pursuit of excellence both on and off the mats. This dedication echoes in his community involvement and social presence, where he is often seen engaging with fans and sharing his insights. Although primarily known for his grappling, Craig has also hinted at a transition into the mixed martial arts (MMA) and UFC, a move watched with keen interest by enthusiasts of combat sports.

Key Takeaways

  • Craig Jones is a distinguished BJJ black belt and competitive grappler with a rich legacy in the sport.
  • His unique grappling style and expertise in coaching have significantly influenced the BJJ community.
  • Craig’s potential move to MMA and his multifaceted presence in the martial arts world are closely monitored by fans and practitioners alike.

Craig Jones: Early Life and Background

Australia has produced a remarkable grappler in Craig Jones, who ascended swiftly through the ranks of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and made significant waves in professional grappling circuits. Your understanding of his career must begin with his roots in BJJ, his prominent influences, and the pivotal transition that spotlighted him on the world stage.

Rise Through BJJ Ranks

Initially, Craig Jones’s journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu began in Adelaide, Australia. Under the tutelage of Lachlan Giles (Absolute MMA), Craig rapidly progressed, demonstrating a keen aptitude for the sport. His dedication was evident as he earned his purple belt, a clear signpost of his emerging talent in the BJJ community.

Notable Influences

In the evolution of a grappler like Craig Jones, certain figures stand out. Most notably, John Will, a pioneering Australian BJJ black belt, had an indirect but profound influence on Craig’s approach to the martial art. Quotes from Will such as, “The more you do, the more you can do,” have resonated with Craig, shaping his philosophy and growth.

Transition to Professional Grappling

Craig’s leap from amateur to professional grappling was as rapid as it was impressive. Achieving his black belt status, he showcased his skills internationally, where his innovative leg lock techniques caught the attention of many. His transition was marked by notable victories that established him not just as a competitive grappler, but as a serious influencer in the sport’s evolving landscape.

Your recognition of Craig Jones’s early background is foundational in appreciating his influence on the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and his imprint on the global grappling scene. His ascent is a testament to the high calibre of training and expertise that is fostered within Australia’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community.

Professional Highlights

Craig Jones has marked his presence in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with his dominant performances and an impressive collection of titles. Your appreciation for his craft will deepen as you explore his key achievements and notable matches that have defined his career.

Key Championships and Titles

  • ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship: A standout achievement in Craig Jones’s career, showcasing his excellence in grappling.
  • NAGA World Championship: A stepping stone for many grapplers, including Craig Jones, who demonstrated his prowess here.
  • Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship: While Jones’s performances here were notable, the details of his exact placements enrich his competitive narrative.

Craig Jones’s triumphs are a testament to his dedication to the art of jiu-jitsu, as his collection of titles from prestigious events speaks volumes.

Prominent Matches and Rivalries

  • Against Keenan Cornelius: The match-up was a technical spectacle, pitting Jones’s aggressive leg lock game against Cornelius’s well-rounded jiu-jitsu.
  • Versus Leandro Lo: Jones faced off against Leandro Lo, another jiu-jitsu giant, which tested his strategic acumen.
  • Against Felipe Pena: A rivalry that has seen Jones challenging one of the sport’s finest, Felipe Pena, in gripping confrontations that fans won’t soon forget.
  • Interaction with Murilo Santana: Santana, a highly respected figure in BJJ, has had a significant influence on Jones’s grappling style and approach to matches.
  • Clash with Nicky Rod: Nick Rodriguez, also known as Nicky Rod, represents the new generation of grapplers who have crossed paths with Jones, leading to memorable exchanges on the mats. And they are teammates now at B-Team.

In your exploration of Craig Jones’s professional journey, these rivalries are essential in understanding the landscape of competitive jiu-jitsu and the challenges he has faced.

Evolution of Grappling Style

Craig Jones has made a significant impact on the grappling community, particularly through his innovative no-gi approach and his mastery of specific submissions. His style has influenced the competitive landscape and contributed to the evolution of modern grappling.

Signature Techniques

Leg Locks: Your grappling arsenal is not complete without an understanding of leg locks, an area where Jones excels. He has a penchant for heel hooks, a submission that targets the ligaments in the ankle and knee. This technique, once considered fringe or too dangerous, has now gained immense popularity due in part to Jones’ success with it in high-level competition.

Triangle Chokes: The triangle choke, executed without a gi, is another staple of Jones’ repertoire. This move, which can be applied from various positions, uses the legs to encircle the opponent’s neck and one arm to create a vise-like choke.

Influence on the Sport

Competitive Tactics: Jones’ approach has demonstrated that a specialized focus on submissions like the rear-naked choke in no-gi contexts can be highly effective, encouraging grapplers to refine these techniques. His successes have showcased the viability of a submission-oriented game plan, influencing both the preparation and the strategies seen in competitions.

Training Methodology: You’ll find that Jones’ impact extends beyond the mat into the way no-gi grappling is taught. His methodologies emphasize transition fluidity and submission chains, contributing to a sport-wide refinement of no-gi teaching practices.

Training and Coaching

Craig Jones’s role in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will deepen as you explore his contributions to coaching and how his methodologies enhance athlete performance.

Development of Athletes

Under Craig Jones’s guidance, athletes evolve through a meticulous development process. The coaching he provided at Absolute MMA and currently at the B-Team—an ensemble of elite competitors he’s part of—integrates the game-changing philosophies of the Danaher Death Squad under the mentorship of John Danaher. You’ll find that practitioners under Jones’s guidance become well-versed in groundbreaking techniques, enabling them to thrive in various competitive scenarios. His coaching style is defined by adaptability and a deep knowledge of the sport’s intricacies, which is crucial for the unpredictable nature of Jiu-Jitsu matches.

By focusing on training and coaching within these two areas, Craig Jones continues to leave a significant mark on the world of Jiu-Jitsu, bolstering both the reputation of Absolute MMA and the growth of athletes within the sport.

Community and Social Presence

Craig Jones has built a notable presence in the jiu-jitsu community, connecting with fans and sharing insights on various platforms. Your attention toward these platforms may reveal his strategies to bolster his community engagement and online activity.

Engagement with Fans

Craig Jones makes it a point to engage with fans through multiple channels. He often responds to comments and interactions on his social media profiles, providing a glimpse into his personality off the mats. For instance, his ability to share content related to his training sessions or casual interactions with high-profile athletes has earned him more popularity within the jiu-jitsu community. The way he converses with his followers is genuine and contributes to his growing favorability.

Activity on Platforms

Jones’s activity across social media platforms is frequent and diverse. On Instagram, he is known for sharing frequent updates, stories, and posts, connecting with his followers by providing personal insights and fostering a sense of community among jiu-jitsu enthusiasts. His “behind-the-scenes” stories and instructional snippets create an interactive experience that keeps fans coming back for more.

His activity is not just limited to direct interaction but also includes content sharing that contributes significantly to his overall presence and the enrichment of the jiu-jitsu digital space.

Transition into MMA and UFC

In recent years, Craig Jones has expanded his skill set beyond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by training for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), contributing to the domain with his grappling expertise but notably not becoming a UFC fighter himself.

Training for MMA

Craig Jones has not formally transitioned into an MMA fighter, but you can see his influence in the sport through his work with MMA competitors. He is known for providing grappling coaching to fighters, which is a key component of MMA. Craig’s involvement in MMA is highlighted by his relationship with the UFC’s featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski. Training elites like Volkanovski, Jones ensures that the grappling aspect of their skill set is sharp and competition-ready. Reports confirm that Craig has been refining MMA fighters’ ground game, indicating that while he’s not an MMA competitor, he supports fighters with his grappling acumen.

Appearances in Combat Organizations

Craig Jones made appearances in various combat sports organizations. His grappling prowess displayed in these settings demonstrates aspects relevant to MMA, such as submission skills. While his professional focus on Jiu-Jitsu continues, his interactions and training sessions with professional fighters, like Donald Cerrone, hint at his seamless integration into the MMA community. Jones has also been linked to “The Return of the Ultimate Fighter: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega,” showcasing his role in enhancing fight strategies for Team Volkanovski.

In summary, Craig Jones contributes to the MMA community predominantly through his specialized grappling training while collaborating with UFC fighters, without fully stepping into the MMA fighter role.