It’s official: Craig Jones vs. Gabi Garcia set for inaugural CJI

Craig Jones announced that he will face Gabi Garcia in an inter-gender submission grappling match at the inaugural Craig Jones Invitational (CJI).

What started as a joke is now reality.

On a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, popular Australian grappler Craig Jones announced that the contracts have been signed for him to face multiple-time ADCC and IBJJF world champion Gabi Garcia in an inter-gender match. That one-of-a-kind clash will take place at the inaugural Craig Jones Invitational, which is scheduled to go down on August 16-17 in Las Vegas.

While the ADCC has yet to make an announcement, this likely means that Garcia has withdrawn from the ADCC World Championships, where she was slated to compete in the +99kg division.

“I signed this maybe and hour and a half ago. It might be one of the biggest events in sporting history… The most decorated female athlete of all time, GG has put pen to paper to face me at my own event.

“One hundred percent gonna happen. We signed this contract earlier.”

Jones had been teasing a match against Garcia for the past couple of years.

A two-time ADCC silver medalist and head of the Austin, Texas-based B-Team, Jones is an elite no-gi competitor and one of the sport’s most liked personalities. His inaugural CJI takes place on the same weekend as the ADCC World Championships – a plan designed to force top grapplers to unify against the ADCC’s relatively low prize money.

Garcia is one of the most decorated competitors in BJJ history, boasting four ADCC gold medals and six IBJJF Worlds golds. Standing well over 6 feet tall and weighing more than 250 pounds, she has employed her immense size and physicality over the course of her 16-year black belt career.

In addition to the superfight between Jones and Garcia, the CJI will host at least one other superfight which features reigning ADCC champion Ffion Davies. No opponent has been announced for Davies.

Beyond the superfights, the main attractions at the CJI will be two 16-man brackets, each offering a $1 million prize for the winner.

The inaugural CJI will air live and free on YouTube.

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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