Craig Jones will now be swapping places with his teammate Izaak Michell for ADCC 2022, where he will compete at 99kg for the very first time in his career. Jones, Michell, and fellow 88kg competitor Jacob Rodriguez all train together on a regular basis at the B-Team headquarters in Austin, Texas. Jones was originally invited to return to the 88kg division as a result of him being the silver medallist in 2019, and Rodriguez quickly qualified for an invite of his own by winning the division at the West Coast trials.
This created a situation where Jones and Rodriguez would be facing each other in the second round of the tournament, as ADCC rules mandate this in order to avoid closeouts in division finals. That’s when Izaak Michell surprised fans everywhere by entering the 99kg division at the only edition of the Asia and Oceania trials this year. It was there that Michell stormed to victory despite the size disadvantage and booked his place at ADCC 2022 alongside his teammates.
Realistically, 88kg was always a much better fit for Michell’s size and he would have significantly better chances of reaching the podium there than at 99kg. Jones meanwhile has actually been competing at higher weights than ever before in recent years, going as high as 93kg in a title-fight against Pedro Marinho at a WNO event. So now Jones will enter the same division as several ADCC world champions like Vinny Magalhaes, Yuri Simoes, and Kaynan Duarte. Michell on the other hand will drop down to 88kg and takes Jones’ place in the bracket, matching up with Rodriguez if both men make it past their opening round matches.
The news of Craig Jones moving to 99kg for ADCC 2022 was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: