Vagner Rocha says BJJ is a ‘Baby’ sport, opportunities to earn few and far in between

Vagner Rocha previously admitted to using TRT, had attempted to preempt the USADA press release by disclosing his TRT usage.

He stated, “We all can clearly see who is on PEDs and who could possibly not be. I am about to turn 41 years old and have been competing at the top of grappling for over a decade. I have no shame to say I am on TRT replacement for my body in accordance with a doctor.”

But the news just broke that USADA suspended him for 3 years. This is a suspension from IBJJF competitions meaning he’ll still be able to compete just not at World championships.

Prior to the news he went on the Adversity kings podcast and shared some interesting insights about earning opportunities in BJJ:

“It’s still a baby sport.”

“I mean, when I started jiu-jitsu, there wasn’t even any of these opportunities. It’s very cool. It’s evolved a lot. But even ADCC, the biggest tournament in the world, the guy who wins, the weight class, makes $10,000. How’s that change in your life?”

What about bjj fanatics?

Rocha went on to share that even instructional sales aren’t what they once were because the market is ‘saturated’.

“BJJ Fanatics is one of the better avenues that people make a living off of, you know. They they do a great job, but the market’s flooded. If you’re not ‘the guy’, if you’re not that name you’re a credible source – you’ve got to be someone who’s got authority. If you’re just a regular guy that’s a good black belt that has won some things and you make a bjj fanatics dvd, the chances of you making a living off of that is very small.”

The exception proves the rule?

Gordon Ryan previously went on the MMA Hour and alleged he’s making more money than most UFC stars:


“And now I’m at a point where, you know, I don’t have to leave. I make more money than most UFC champions.”

“John is like, absolutely, do not go into MMA” – Ryan told Helwani.

“He’s like, You already make a ton of money doing this. You’re considered the greatest of all time already. And it is about to become mainstream. And once it becomes mainstream, you know, everyone’s going to get paid more. And, you know, BJJ is going to be like a real sport, and you’re the forefront of that.”

“And if you move to MMA now, that that could be lost. So I don’t know, maybe if one of the other guys wins from the team wins an ADCC absolute or something.”

But he seems to be the outlier if anything.