Craig Jones announces plans to hold $2 million tournament

Craig Jones has announced plans to hold a massive no-gi grappling tournament with two $1 million prizes on the line.

Elite no-gi competitor Craig Jones says he’s getting into the tournament promotion business.

On Monday, the Australian announced plans to hold an event featuring the world’s top 32 male grapplers spread across two divisions with a $1 million prize for each division’s winner. Jones also announced that all athletes would receive $10,000 for competing in the event, regardless of their success.

“We’re going to be doing a tournament, under 80 kilos, over 80 kilos, just two divisions. I want to know who are the best grapplers in the world under 80 kilos, over 80 kilos, that might want to win a million dollars. We’ll probably do 10K to show just because I personally think that is fucking hilarious. 10K is not a lot of money but it’s what you deserve.

“One last thing, obviously I am no lawyer, but if you were doing an event soon and they threw a contract at you, maybe reconsider because you might just miss out on one million dollars, and as a grappler you’re never gonna see a million dollars…”

Jones recently made waves in the submission grappling community by criticizing the ADCC for its relatively low prize money, announcing his intention to host a seminar to benefit unpaid ADCC competitors. Currently, male competitors who win their divisions earn $10,000, while female gold medalists win $6,000. Competitors who do not make the podium receive no prize money unless they win a bonus award of up to $1,400.

While Jones has certainly earned the reputation of a joker, his intentions with this event appear to be entirely legitimate and his way of countering the ADCC’s low prize money.

A two-time ADCC silver medal winner widely recognized among the sport’s top pound-for-pound grapplers, Jones has declined his invitation to compete at this year’s ADCC World Championships, citing the low pay as his primary motivation.

No date, venue, broadcast information, or name of the event has yet been released, indicating that these plans are still very much in the early stages.

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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