- Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground returns on June 21
- Craig Jones battles Gabriel Checco in the main event
- UFC flyweight Jessica Eye meets Amanda Loewen in the co-main event
Grappling is back once again as Submission Underground 15 goes down on June 21 live on UFC Fight Pass at 6 pm ET. Chael Sonnen’s grappling promotion has continued to hold events at a secret location during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Sunday’s main event, grappling wizard Craig Jones takes on Gabriel Checco. Jessica Eye, who fought and lost to Cynthia Calvillo in the main event of last weekend’s UFC card, meets Amanda Loewen in the co-main event.
Submission Underground 15 also features an eight-man tournament for $10,000 and the chance to compete against Craig Jones at SUG 16.
SUG 15 Odds
All odds taken June 19.
Will Jones Stay Unbeaten in SUG?
Craig Jones, one of the best grapplers in the world, has been regularly competing at Submission Underground and will headline the show once again.
The Aussie rarely goes the distance and has notable wins over Gilbert Burns (who is fighting for the UFC welterweight title in July), Vinny Magalhaes, Mason Fowler, Rumble Johnson, and Jake Shields.
Gabriel Checco, meanwhile, submitted Austin Vanderford back at SUG 14 and, before that, submitted Jake Ellenberger by a reverse triangle at SUG 13. Checco is a grappling stud who has started to compete more regularly. He did suffer a loss to Gordon Ryan by armbar.
Jones is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Lachlan Giles. He’s won Polaris competitions, came second at the ADCC world championships in 2018, and has all the accolades someone could have in jiu-jitsu. He’s also undefeated in SUG and I expect that to continue here.
The Aussie is just a way better grappler than Checco, who we have seen lose to Marcelo Nunes by armbar, as well.
Jones has also been the more active grappler while Checco still competes in MMA. I don’t expect this match to last long as the Aussie usually finishes his matches early. Look for Jones to attack the legs of Checco and sink in another heel hook win or perhaps just choke him out.
Regardless, I really like Jones in this spot and I’m surprised he isn’t a bigger favorite.
Pick: Craig Jones (-550)
Jones vs Checco
|Gilbert Burns, Jake Shields||Notable Wins||Jake Ellenberger, Austin Vanderford|
|Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Lachlan Giles||Belt||Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu|
Can Eye Pull Off the Upset?
Many were surprised Jessica Eye remained on this card after going five rounds against Cynthia Calvillo in the main event of UFC on ESPN 10. But “Evil” stuck to her word and will battle Amanda Loewen in the co-main event.
Loewen used to train at SBG Portland and is a black belt in jiu-jitsu but doesn’t compete at the big-time events like SUG and Polaris. Yet, there is a reason she is a sizeable favorite over Eye, who will be making her SUG debut.
In Eye’s last fight against Calvillo, she struggled on the ground. Calvillo took her back and passed guard a few times. In my opinion, Loewen is a better grappler than Calvillo, so Evil will be in for a tough night on Sunday.
Like the Jones match, I don’t know why Loewen isn’t a bigger favorite. I expect her to take the back of Eye and sink in a rear-naked choke to finish the match.
Pick: Amanda Loewen (-325)
Other SUG 15 Picks
- Kody Steele (-225): Steele is the better grappler and should be able to get Varela’s back and sink in a choke. But, I don’t love the odds on him.
- Mason Fowler (-265): Fowler should be a bigger favorite, as he has beaten the who’s who and even competed at the ADCC worlds in 2019 and beat Valdir Araujo before losing to Jones. He should finish the match and I think he will win the entire tourney.
- Roberto Jimenez (-200): I think Jimenez is the dark horse of the tournament and will be able to outlast Orchard here.
- Adam Bradley (+105): This is really a coin flip match as it could go either way so just give me Bradley at plus money.