Craig Jones: Competing in BJJ is not a ‘real revenue stream’

Australian jiu-jitsu star Craig Jones recently appeared on The Jaxxon Podcast, hosted by former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. During the wide-ranging and often hilarious discussion, the topic turned to whether competitive grappling could become as lucrative as mixed martial arts.

Jones, an elite grappler known for his dangerous leg locks, did not mince words on the subject. When asked if submission grappling matches could reach the pay-per-view highs and paychecks seen in MMA, he flatly responded, “As much money. I don’t think so. No.”

Elaborating further, Jones pointed out that even the highest-profile grappling promotion, only puts on two events per year. And while it pays well compared to other grappling outlets, Jones suspects the purses still pale in comparison to what MMA stars make.

“I don’t know what the other guys get paid, but I imagine there’s not a huge purse going around for a lot of these guys,” he opined. “So I don’t…in terms of being a real revenue stream, I have to do other things.”

So what are those “other things” that make up the bulk of the 31-year-old Jones’ income? He is candid in admitting that it’s selling instructionals and running seminars, not grinding out wins at grappling tournaments.

“That would be the biggest source of revenue,” Jones confirmed when asked if instructionals are a big part of the sport now. “I just do a 90/10 split. But most of the time, I’m just too lazy to do the seminars.”

By taking it easy on the grueling seminar circuit and focusing on producing tutorials for home study, Craig Jones has cracked the code on how to make money in the still-niche sport of submission grappling. Meanwhile, for those who do choose to compete at the highest levels, he does not see the payouts approaching MMA-style purses anytime soon.

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