Craig Jones sees the stylistic clash between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski favoring his fellow Aussie.

In preparation for the big champion-versus-champion match up this weekend (Sat., Feb. 11, 2023) at UFC 284, the multi-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) world champion, Jones, has been aiding Volkanovski’s grappling in camp. Known for his ankle lock and heel hook submissions, Jones can see his pupil pulling off his patented maneuver against the Sambo-based Lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev.

“A lot of Sambo guys are terrified of heel hooks,” Jones told Submission Radio. “Sambo, you can only kneebar, and I believe you can do like a straight ankle-achilles lock. No heel hooks. Terrified of it. So, I can definitely see Volk submitting him very quickly with a heel hook.

“[Brian] Ortega’s more dangerous on the ground,” he continued. “Obviously, Ortega’s taken more losses, but his submissions are better than Islam’s. I think Ortega could give Islam a good fight, honestly. I think him (Volkanovski) escaping Ortega’s submissions would be more impressive than him escaping Islam’s submissions.”

Despite Ortega’s brilliant submission game, he offered little up resistance against Volkanovski in their Sept. 2021 battle (outside of a horrific third-round guillotine choke attempt). The Featherweight champion went on to pick up a unanimous decision win, claiming his second successful title defense at the time.

Volkanovski will be moving up in weight for his encounter with Russia’s Makhachev. A win would make “The Great” a dual-division champion and hold his spot as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the official UFC rankings.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 284 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

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