The wrestling vs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) debate has always been a thing. Both forms of grappling have led to a lot of success in MMA competitions. UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev recently spoke about the problems that BJJ guys face in the cage.
Islam is a combat sambo specialist, which is a form of submission grappling utilized in Russia. Unlike BJJ, Combat sambo allows for striking as well as headbutts.
Volkanovski’s BJJ coach weighed in on Makhachev yesterday and gave a pretty scathing evaluation of Sambo.
it was pretty easy being Islam, you know, like, I didn’t have to worry about taking Volk down. I just had to be a boring man on top, you know?”
Jones went on to say that Sambo is pretty bad as a grappling art:
“He’s just good at holding people down like he submits people, but I don’t think he has good submissions, you know what I mean? Like it’s a wrestling culture and they obviously have some submissions in Sambo and stuff. But Sambo is pretty bad as a grappling art. I, you know, like a lot of the samba guys in the tournament’s, they want heel hooks, bans, you know so it’s not a complete grappling on the ground.”
“But again, what he does well is his ability to hold people down from half guard and close guard especially. And 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 look 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. You know, if he didn’t get that, he’s burning his arms out, you know? ”
Islam was recently interviewed by his friend and training partner Daniel Cormier. He told the MMA icon why BJJ athletes have trouble in the cage. He explained it’s because they’re used to grappling from the bottom.
This position is the dominant position in a BJJ contest, but not in MMA. Islam said that the BJJ combatants’ habit of avoiding the mount position creates problems for them.
“All the jiu-jitsu guys have the same problem, they cannot stay on the top, they all go down. This is a big problem for them,” he told DC.
Islam also said that he doesn’t know anyone from BJJ who has “good wrestling”
He says only the “people from Dagestan” can excel at both of them as “they have good jiu-jitsu and good wrestling”.
This isn’t the first time that Islam has criticized BJJ. He previously made a bold statement against the art last year, saying that many of its black belts need to be demoted.
He said that “we have to cancel many black belts [because] they make Jiu-Jitsu look bad. Because a lot of guys have black belt but I don’t know [if they have the skills],”
Syed Ali Fazeel is an accomplished MMA fan, and writer. He discovered MMA in his youth and has been following the sport since TUF season 1.