Competition for ADCC? Craig Jones Announces $1 Million Prize Tournament

$1 million prize? Yes, you read that right folks. Craig Jones, one of the biggest names in no-gi jiu jitsu, took to social media earlier this week to announce his latest idea on hosting his own jiu jitsu tournament with a spectacular grand prize. As Craig put it; “It’s really just a funny idea that has now become something real with the right funding.”

Craig Jones on Instagram: “My sugar daddy is richer than yours #craigjonesinvitaitonal”

19K likes, 463 comments – craigjonesbjj on May 2, 2024: “My sugar daddy is richer than yours #craigjonesinvitaitonal”.

You may be wondering, what about ADCC? Why is Craig Jones even starting a tournament? Who is he inviting?

Craig’s “Why” Behind a New Event

If you haven’t seen on social media, Craig Jones has been announcing that he will no longer compete at ADCC Worlds due to the lack of pay. In the form of a comment of Reddit, Craig expressed,

“Guys call me crazy but Thomas and Mack Centre is 20k capacity for audience and T Mobile is 20k. T Mobile costs 2 million to rent and Thomas and Mack much cheaper. I think we the athletes deserve to be paid more than the guys that hit the drums. I ain’t doing ADCC. I’m a g*d d*mn karate guy.”

BJJ World 🥋 on Instagram: “Craig Jones has officially dropped out of ADCC 2024 🤯”

12K likes, 302 comments – bjj.worldtv on April 6, 2024: “Craig Jones has officially dropped out of ADCC 2024 🤯”.

Now in ADCC’s defense, competing and winning at ADCC is already a huge deal since it is basically our version of the Olympics. More than pay, winning ADCC can be a turning point for those looking to be recognized as one of the best jiu jitsu athletes in the world and not to mention, ADCC puts so much into making their event as prestige as they can.

However, from Craig’s perspective, he has already built a massive brand and fan following & he has already competed at ADCC multiple times, so for him, it seems the risk of losing or tarnishing his brand is not worth the reward of 50k max. So instead, Craig is now in the process of making his own event. He also went to social media talking about hosting a seminar prior to ADCC where 100% of the profits would go to the competitors.

Craig Jones on Instagram: “Massive seminar announcement. All profits go towards a worthy cause…… the athletes competing in ADCC.”

13K likes, 361 comments – craigjonesbjj on April 7, 2024: “Massive seminar announcement. All profits go towards a worthy cause…… the athletes competing in ADCC.”.

So What is Craig Jones’ Tournament?

Jokingly calling it “BDCC”. The idea behind this new event will be two, 16 man brackets, one 80kg and over, & the other 80kg and under. Craig’s goal is to bring the best in the world together to compete for a million-dollar grand prize. Sounds familiar right? Even better, he is also offering 10k per athlete just to show.

As jiu jitsu is still a growing sport, this would be huge for athletes. Not only will the tournament have a big fan following, which is good for publicity, but the pay scale is a major step up from what jiu jitsu athletes are used to. Most jiu jitsu events cap out their prize around 50k, so the opportunity to compete and make 20 times that in a single event? It’s almost too good to be true.

Craig has been vocal about athletes getting higher pay from big organizations. He expressed in his most recent post-match interview on UFC Fight Pass, he’ll do anything for the right price and one of the things he appreciates about Fight Pass is their willingness and capability to pay & give athletes what they deserve.

For comparison, here is the average payout from Craig Jones event and other high-level promotions:

BDCC (Craig’s) – 10k to show, 1 million grand prize

ADCC – 10k to win weight division, 40k for absolute grand prize

IBJJF – Max 18k for 23/24 season

WNO – 30k for winning championship tournament

UFC Fight Pass – Not disclosed but according to athletes, substantial

Money is not everything, but again, knowing so many jiu jitsu athletes who can barely afford to travel, compete, and make a decent living…The opportunity to win such a grand amount of money would be life changing.

Who is Invited?

If Craig wants the best men in his event, who is that going to be? Well, Craig recently posted on his Instagram story this list of possible invitees, including myself, William Tackett.

More interesting, if you look you will see that Craig went as far to include big names Gordan Ryan and Nicholas Meregali in his list, who he has past drama with. If both were to agree, this could bring even more attention to the tournament, as many fans will be curious to see the dynamic between these athletes.


What are your thoughts? Will we see Craig’s event come to life in 2024? I can’t say for sure, but we hope to find out as much as you do. Who knows, you may even catch both of us Tackett brothers competing in the million-dollar brackets. Only time will tell.

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