Israel Adesanya is the former two-time UFC middleweight world champion and although he’s known as more of a striker than anything else, he’s been working on his grappling skills with top BJJ competitor Craig Jones. Before Adesanya ever became a professional MMA fighter, he was competing in boxing and kickboxing first. Over the years, he managed to amass 5-1 and 75-5 records in those sports respectively and became one of the most talented strikers on the planet. While that alone would have probably been enough for him to enjoy a successful MMA career, he’s worked incredibly hard over the years to bring his grappling up to a similar level.
Adesanya made his professional MMA debut in 2012 and quickly dominated the regional MMA circuits in Australia, New Zealand, and China. He put together an impressive 11-0 MMA record before getting the chance to compete for the UFC in 2018, and he continued his incredible rise to the top over the next few years. He won his first 6 UFC fights in a row before becoming the interim middleweight champion and quickly unifying the titles. He has done some amazing things in his career, including challenging for the light-heavyweight title and regaining his title after losing it the first time. Although Adesanya recently lost his UFC middleweight title for the second time, he still holds a 24-3 professional record with wins over some of the biggest names in the sport.
Although he has remained primarily a striker and has never finished a fight by submission, he’s shown flashes of excellence in grappling when he’s needed to. That’s why Adesanya received his purple belt in BJJ from Andre Galvao, and how he’s been able to make even better use of his striking when his opponents are cautious to engage with him on the ground. Israel Adesanya has even been open to the idea of taking on grappling matches, and he’s definitely got some good sparring partners available to him if Craig Jones is willing to train him.
Israel Adesanya uploaded the footage of him getting some grappling training in with Craig Jones to his official YouTube channel: