ADCC promoter outlines problem with Gi BJJ: “They need to change the rules “

The Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC)  World Championships are returning to Las Vegas in 2024. ADCC founder and lead organizer Mo Jassim revealed in an interview with combat sports journalist Luke Thomas that the 2024 event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena.

ADCC 2024 will maintain the traditional two-day event format, with Jassim stating that tickets will be sold as two-day passes rather than single-day. He also revealed that assigned seating will be implemented, unlike in 2019 when 4,000 spectators attended without assigned seats.

ADCC has traditionally rotated through different host countries and organizers every two years. But Jassim has remained in charge since 2019 and kept the last two installments in the United States.

When asked by Thomas about abandoning ADCC’s globetrotting tradition, Jassim cited the enhanced revenue potential of domestic events. He said it currently makes the most business sense to stay stateside, where ADCC can regularly sell lots of high-priced tickets and attract sponsors.

“My thing is this, never be content. 2022 was pretty good, but I will always try to push the envelope,” Jassim declared. While overseas hosts are still possible down the line, Jassim’s priority is growing ADCC as quickly as possible, starting with a repeat Vegas engagement in 2024 based on last year’s considerable success.

The two also discussed Gi BJJ losing popularity.

During his chat with Thomas, Jassim discussed some of the factors that have led to no-gi grappling’s surge in popularity compared to the traditional gi (kimono) format. He pointed to the enhanced spectator appeal of no-gi matches, with its faster pace and more dynamic grappling exchanges.

“It’s a much harder product to sell,” Jassim said of gi matches, which average fans can find slower and harder to comprehend amid endless grip fighting. By contrast, no-gi has a more straightforward presentation similar to MMA that resonates better with live and TV audiences.

“The issue with Gi is two things. Number one, it’s a, Nogi’s a much easier product to sell. Like if you watch MMA, even if you don’t know anything about combat sports, you can understand what’s going on. ”

“Okay, this person’s hitting the other person and they’re taking them down. Nogi’s a lot, is a little bit more similar to MMA in that sense. Whereas when someone’s wearing the Gi or the kimono and they’re having a match, it’s much harder to understand. They’re like, I’m just watching two people just gripping. So it’s a harder product to sell. ”

“Number two, I think the organizers of Gi events are just content with the way things are. They’re not trying, the Gi model is competitor driven. They have a lot of competitors, but they don’t go for the spectators. And then finally, I think the biggest thing is the rules. They need to change the rules in Gi grappling.”

ADCC’s no-gi rules also discourage stalling, whereas gi events do little to push athletes for more action. Above all, the thrilling performances and larger-than-life personas in no-gi grappling have made it a hit with fans, establishing ADCC as the highest-profile promotion in the sport.

But IBJJF does feature PED testing which is at least a minimal effort to clean up the sport – something the ADCC is adamant isn’t even on their radar.

Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes on your website otherwise we’ll be forced to legally pursue our options.