Craig Jones, Joao Miyao set to compete at Pit Submission Series 2

Top BJJ stars Craig Jones and Joao Miyao will compete at Karate Combat’s Pit Submission Series 2 on February 23.

Karate Combat’s foray into the world of submission grappling is well underway. The promotion recently announced a pair of Pit Submission Series matches, each featuring top BJJ talent.

On Friday, February 23, in Mexico City, Craig Jones will take on current UFC welterweight Philip Rowe. Joao Miyao will square off with UFC bantamweight Ricky Simon, each in submission-only matches.

In January, Karate Combat held its first Pit Submission Series matches that saw Max Gimenes, Vagner Rocha, and Helena Crevar pick up impressive victories.

Both Jones and Miyao will be heavy favorites against their MMA-focused opponents.

Craig Jones vs. Phillip Rowe

The leader of the B-Team, Jones has firmly established himself as one of the best no-gi competitors in the world. In addition to his pair of silver medals at the ADCC World Championships, the Australian holds recent notable victories over the likes of Richie Martinez, Nicholas Meregali, and Felipe Pena.

Rowe, meanwhile, is best known for his striking game but has been involved in some high-level grappling matches. In 2021, he dropped a decision against elite black belt Kody Steele and faced Gordon Ryan in an “exhibition match” in which he was dominated and submitted multiple times.

Jones will come into the contest likely the larger man and definitely the much more skilled grappler. The 32-year-old is no stranger to competing against top MMA fighters. In his most recent outing, at Polaris 26, he made quick work of all-time UFC middleweight submission leader Gerald Meerschaert, submitting him with a rear-naked choke.

Joao Miyao vs. Ricky Simon

One half of the famed Miyao brothers, Joao Miyao is one of the most accomplished BJJ competitors of the past decade. A four-time IBJJF no-gi world champion and one-time gi world champion, Miyao has been largely absent from the elite competitive scene over the past several years, choosing instead to focus on the Masters divisions.

Simon is a veteran of 25 professional MMA fights, including 12 bouts in the UFC. A talented wrestler and strong top-control artist, he boasts four submission victories.

While Simon is certainly a skilled grappler with explosive takedowns, he’s in for a stiff test against the ultra-experienced Miyao. Look for Miyao to attack from his vaunted open guard where he will likely hunt for the back or try to create a leg entanglement.

How to watch: Pit Submission Series 2 takes place on Friday, February 23, and will air live and free on Karate Combat’s YouTube channel.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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