Craig Jones Shades Flograppling, Details Why It’s Not Financially Lucrative to Compete at ADCC

ADCC is considered the pinnacle of no-gi grappling competitions, yet the financial incentives for top competitors remain relatively low according to submission specialist Craig Jones.

Gordon Ryan previously called for the ADCC to increase the prize money to $250,000 per division.

In a recent discussion, Jones outlined several reasons why the risk-reward ratio of competing at ADCC may not make financial sense despite its prestige.

According to Jones, prize money has stagnated at $10,000 for division winners despite exponential growth in event attendance and visibility. The 2015 event in Brazil had around 2000 attendees while the 2022 event sold 13,000 tickets, yet first place prize money has remained $10,000.

Jones estimates streaming rights were purchased by FloGrappling for over $1 million in 2022, evidencing the growth and commercial value of the event. However, athletes receive no direct compensation from this revenue stream.

Winning ADCC does not necessarily translate into improved sponsorship opportunities or instructional sales. Fans need to actively support winners for financial success to follow.

Jones earns far more from online instructional sales, seminars, and sponsorships than he could by winning ADCC. He makes “maybe five or six times” the first place prize money monthly from his instructional business.

“Prize money should match the growth of the sport. Who knows maybe they listen to this and change the prize money. Maybe they already had intention of upping the prize money. If they do that, I will take full credit for Anyway, guys, for everyone asking if I’m doing ADCC 2024, this is as clear answer as I can give you right now.”

There is no appearance fee or “show money” to simply compete at ADCC. Only prize money is offered, which you must win to receive. Other events pay show money in addition to prizes.

The lack of adequate financial incentives makes Jones question if the risk and effort of preparing for ADCC is worthwhile compared to other opportunities like seminars and online instructionals.

Jones called for ADCC organizers to increase prize money in line with the sport’s growth. While ADCC holds prestige as the top no-gi grappling event, its financial incentives have clearly lagged despite its commercial success. For top athletes like Jones, other opportunities provide far better financial return compared to chasing ADCC glory.

ADCC promoter Mo Jassim previously admitted that ADCC purses have stagnated and are well below what MMA promotins offer.