Craig Jones MMA: UFC Fighter Himself or Grappling Coach?

Gordon Ryan MMA

Is Craig Jones transitioning to MMA?

It doesn’t seem like that’s the case for now. However, Craig has been training MMA fighters, like the UFC’s featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, in grappling.

His former teammate Gordon Ryan once planned on debuting in MMA, check out Gordon’s history with MMA in our dedicated post.

Let’s review Craig Jones’ ties to MMA and the UFC and if a Craig Jones MMA debut is likely.

Craig Jones Coached UFC Fighter Alexander Volkanovski for UFC 284

On Feb 12, 2023, the Australian MMA fighter Alexander Volkanovski faced Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC 284.

In preparation for the headlining MMA fight, Craig Jones coached his fellow Aussie Alexander Volkanovski. Here’s some training footage:

P.S.: It also includes footage of MMA fighters making fun of Craig’s punches. 🙂

At the UFC 284 Pre-Fight Press Conference, Islam was asked if he is afraid of heel hooks as they are not part of wrestling, Judo, and sambo, which is Islam’s strength, and Craig Jones is a heel hook expert.

Islam Makhachev stated:

“This is not the same. He brings some guys from Jiu Jitsu, but this is not the same. It’s not going to be Jiu-Jitsu. It’s going to be MMA pressure on the ground.”

Then Islam dissed Craig Jones by saying:

“He feels like Craig Jones can not control him on the ground, but this is different.”

Craig Jones Fought MMA Fighter Chael Sonnen in ADCC 2017

In 2017 Craig Jones fought MMA fighter, former UFC title contender, and professional trash talker Chael Sonnen. However, it was a grappling match and not an MMA fight.

Craig ended up winning the match through a heel hook submission.

Craig Jones on Islam Makhachev and Grappling in MMA

In a Submissions Radio interview, Craig explains his view on MMA fighters:

“A lot of MMA fighters are tough, but they are just tough. Volks (Volkanovski, who Craig Jones trained) will be tough, and he tries to technically work his way out of submissions. That balance is what makes him unique.”

When talking about Islam Makhachev, he praises Islam’s approach of combining Judo and wrestling like no one else. However, he states that Makhachev’s submissions are not technically efficient:

“He submits people, but I don’t think he has good submissions.”

Craig Jones MMA FAQ

Craig Jones MMA Debut

Frequently asked questions on Craig Jones’ MMA career:

Craig Jones’ MMA record is 0-0, as he didn’t have a professional MMA fight to this day.

For now, Craig Jones is neither training nor competing in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

Although Craig Jones has ben coaching big names in the UFC, like featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, he has never expressed interest to fight MMA himself.


In summary, we will probably never witness Craig Jones’ MMA debut. Nevertheless, we are sure he will stay active in the Mixed Martial Arts scene.

Craig is known best for being a BJJ Black Belt, alongside being a funny and authentic guy. Together with Nicky Rod, Nicky Ryan, and the rest of the B-Team, he is on top of the BJJ scene at the moment.

His jokes and modern social media approach bring people to the sport. On top of that, his ties to MMA and the UFC will make Jiu-Jitsu even more popular among MMA fans.

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