One Million Dollar Jiu Jitsu Tournament? I don't think I would ever say those words in the same sentence.

But Craig Jones, the man, the myth, the legend, just dropped a bombshell that's got everyone talking. A brand new 32 man tournament with a jaw-dropping $3 million total prize pool, with $1 million going to the winner of each division!

Craig has long been an outspoken critic of how little most BJJ events and organizations pay the athletes - and he's trying to change that. No more measly prize money that doesn't even cover the full cost of training or travel.

We don't have too many details yet, but here's what we know so far.

$1 Million Dollar BJJ Tournament

Craig Jones Million Dollar BJJ Tourmanent

Craig Jones has just started to announce a brand new BJJ tournament with an incredible million dollar grand prize for the champions, out of a total of 3 million dollars in prize money available. If this comes to fruition then this would undoubtedly be the biggest tournament in the history of the sport, as no promotion has ever been able to put together such an incredible prize before.

Although many fans might be skeptical about the announcement, it's worth remembering that Jones has a long history of being brutally honest about the inner workings of the professional grappling world. Now it seems like Jones has put his money where his mouth is, and he is either getting involved with the promotional side of the sport or is in close contact with someone who is.

The Vision Behind the Tournament

Craig Jones has been vocal about the issues with competitor pay in the sport for quite some time. This has been a genuine crusade of his and he's risked quite a lot himself just by speaking out about it publicly.

If any BJJ competitors do comment on their pay then they generally shy away from directly referencing specific events, and it's understandable given that they still need those opportunities to compete. If this million dollar BJJ tournament comes to fruition then Craig Jones will have had a bigger impact on the sport than the majority of competitors and promoters ever have before.

A Look at the Prize Money

According to the screenshot that Craig Jones posted on Instagram, the total funding for the tournament is currently in place at around 3 million dollars. That level of prize money is something that would have been considered a pipe-dream by every BJJ competitor on the planet until now.

With there being just 32 spaces available for the two divisions (under 80KG and over 80KG) of Jones' new tournament, the next task would be to determine who would be given the opportunity to compete. He even shared the current list of proposed competitors and it included all of the biggest names in the sport.

Competitors and Divisions

Craig Jones alluded back to one of the criticisms that he levied at ADCC in the past, as the promotion only offers the winners of each weight class a grand prize of $10,000.

With a million dollars leftover after they pay out both million dollar prizes to the winners, Jones has even considered paying the competitors the same amount of money they would get to win an ADCC title just to show up to his new BJJ tournament.

The proposed list of competitors for Craig Jones' groundbreaking BJJ tournament includes some of the top names in the sport like Gordon Ryan, Nicky Rod, and Nicholas Meregali. This also brings up another interesting dynamic, I mean would Gordon Ryan actually compete in a tournament hosted by one of his main rivals? Or will Gordon up the pot and create his own competing event - just because he can?

Tournament Logistics and Venue

While the full details have yet to be announced, the BJJ community is buzzing with speculation about the logistics and venue for Craig Jones' groundbreaking tournament.

Given the substantial prize money on offer and the caliber of competitors likely to be involved, the event will undoubtedly require a world-class facility capable of accommodating a large crowd and providing a suitable stage for the action. There are rumors floating around Reddit that this may even be a joint-collaboration with ONE Championship or Karate Combat, an organization that Craig has competed on numerous times now. 

All of this is purely speculation at this point, and we can only hope that this comes into fruition and isn't just Craig being Craig on social media.

May 01, 2024