Craig Jones announces $2 million tournament on same weekend as ADCC

Craig Jones has announced that the Craig Jones Invitational will take place on August 16-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Craig Jones’ plans for a massive grappling tournament with the largest prize money ever seen in the sport seem to be very real.

On Thursday, the Australian fan-favorite announced that the Craig Jones Invitational will take place from Friday, August 16 to Saturday, August 17 in Las Vegas – the same weekend as the 2024 ADCC World Championships, which are scheduled for August 17-18, also in Las Vegas. 

Hailed as “the highest paying grappling event in history,” Jones has indicated that the event will consist of two 16-grappler men’s divisions – below and above 80 kg – with bracket winners taking home $1 million in prize money. 

What’s more, he has indicated that every athlete will receive $10,001 for competing. By comparison, male division winners at ADCC receive $10,000. Female ADCC champions receive $6,000.

Per a previous Instagram post from Jones, he has acquired the Thomas & Mack Center as a venue – the same venue that hosted the 2022 ADCC World Championships.

In the comments of the Instagram post announcing the event, Jones stated that the CJI will air for free on YouTube.

Earlier this year, Jones made waves in the grappling community by openly criticizing the ADCC’s pay structure, stating that the low pay was a motivating factor for him declining the invitation to compete at the 2024 ADCC World Championships. His scheduling of the CJI on the same weekend as ADCC will be a significant blow to the event that is regularly described as the “Olympics of grappling.”

There have yet to be any competitors announced for the CJI, but it’s likely that the event will draw many, if not most, of the sport’s top male athletes away from ADCC.

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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