It seems as though everyone wants a piece of Craig Jones at the moment, the likable and marketable Australian heel-hooking machine who broke out into the spotlight after his outstanding performance at the ADCC World Championship back on September 2017, has since become one of the most sought out athletes on the professional BJJ super-fight circuit. The two weight division Polaris Invitational champion has been truly busy, traveling the world and competing at prestigious events such as SPYDER Invitational (Korea), Quintet I (Japan) and III (US West Coast), Kasai Pro (US East Coast), Boa Super 8 (Australia) and GrappleFest, a UK promotion he will be returning to come February 23 – essentially 10 days from now.
GrappleFest is an events team based in Liverpool, England that has been gaining traction internationally by using local talent and clever match-making. On the 23rd they will be providing a face-off between two very distinct athletes, one is a 100% submission-only specialist, who – although experienced in points based tournaments, does tend to thrive under this sub only rule-set. Arges, on the other hand, is a gi specialist and former IBJJF middleweight champion.
The advantage, on paper, seems to favor Jones, who is a bigger athlete and the most versed under these rules. We haven’t seen Arges compete in sub-only since the World Series of Grappling event, and that was with the gi. Before that, we would have to go as far as Arges’ purple belt career, when he competed at the Newaza tournament, losing to Gordon Ryan. That said, do not, for one second, count Gabriel out. Arges is a natural born competitor, has a clean grappling game and a good brain for game-planning, and he has many more high-level wins on his record than Jones, all attributes that may be key to define this match.
Another exciting match on the card is that of Absolute MMA coach, and Craig Jones main training partner, Mr. Lachlan Giles and Birmingham, England grappler Bradley Hill, a Braulio Estima black belt who also enjoys the no-gi scene and sub-only genre.
GrappleFest, 23 February Main Card:
– Craig Jones x Gabriel Arges
– Lachlan Giles x Bradley Hill
– Ffion Davies x Christine Martin
– Jamie Scott x James Orr
– Marcus Phelan x Sean McDonagh