KASAI Adds Murilo Santana vs. Craig Jones Superfight to ‘KASAI Pro’
Middleweight matchup marks rematch of duo’s thrilling ADCC encounter.
November 27, 2017 – New York City, NY – KASAI Elite Grappling Championships (KASAI) has confirmed the second superfight on its ‘KASAI Pro’ main card will be an international clash pitting New York icon Murilo Santana against Australian phenom Craig Jones.
“No fight on ‘KASAI Pro’ captures the global appeal of Jiu-Jitsu quite like Santana versus Jones,” said Rolles Gracie, KASAI President. “This is a story of redemption against validation as KASAI ushers in the next era of competitive Jiu-Jitsu.”
Santana, a Sao Paulo native and armbar specialist who attained his BJJ black belt under pioneering MMA referee Mario Yamasaki, is a top ‘meio pesado’ grapplers of the mid-2000s. Over 130-plus fights, Santana claimed several Sao Paulo State Championships, multiple Brazilian national titles, as well as elite finishes at world gi and no-gi tournaments.
In stark contrast to the younger Jones, Santana’s storied 12-year career includes bouts against the likes of Andre Galvao, Marcelo Garcia, Braulio Estima, JT Torres and Jake Shields, to name a few. After moving to New York in 2015, Santana launched Unity Jiu-Jitsu School as head instructor, developing new talents including ‘KASAI Pro’ competitors Mansher Khera and ‘Junny’ Ocasio.
Jones, 26, earned his black belt credentials from two-time ADCC competitor Lachlan Giles. Training out of the Absolute MMA Academy in Melbourne, Jones’ won the 2015 IBJJF no-gi world championship at purple belt in dominant fashion, submitting five opponents in ten minutes of mat time.
More recently, Jones seized headlines with an upset submission of Copo Podio Grand-Prix champion Leandro Lo enroute to the 2017 ADCC semi-finals at 88kg. It was on this remarkable run, almost 10,000 miles removed from his native Australia, that Jones sensationally derailed Santana’s ADCC journey. He would also best former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen in the absolute division.
‘KASAI Pro’ is headlined by an openweight superfight pitting ADCC 88kg (194lbs) champion Gordon Ryan against 99kg (218lbs) champion Yuri Simões. A one-night, eight-man, no-gi KASAI World Lightweight Championship tournament also features internationally-renowned competitors Garry Tonon, Gianni Grippo, Celso Vinicius, AJ Agazarm, Enrico Cocco and Renato Canuto.
Tickets for ‘KASAI Pro,’ hosted at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York on December 9, are available online at kasai.ticketleap.com/kasai. Viewers can also watch ‘KASAI Pro’ live on FloGrappling.com, available online, Roku or Apple TV 4.
For the latest information on KASAI events, please visit www.kasaigrappling.com.
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KASAI Elite Grappling Championships (“KASAI”) is New York City’s premier competitive professional and amateur Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) promotion, committed to hosting amateur and professional live events featuring the most talented male and female grapplers from around the globe. Founded in 2016, KASAI’s organization includes well-renowned names from the worlds of martial arts, media production and business finance who are committed to developing the sport’s public profile and amplifying the brand of BJJ’s greatest competitors.
Aidan O’Connor, PR Manager, KASAI Elite Grappling Championships
Ken Gelman, COO, KASAI Elite Grappling Championships