It seems like Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners and fans around the world are finally getting our wish. The BJJ athletes we admire so much are getting legitimate opportunities to make money by competing for us! Not only is Metamoris Pro offering some dream matches for us in San Diego (and streamed online!) on October 14, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation has just announced their own event where invited competitors will be paid big prizes!
From the IBJJF announcement:
There will be four divisions and each one of the four divisions will have eight competitors. This first edition of the event is male black belt exclusively, Gi only, and will be webcasted for free over IBJJF TV (ibjjftv.com). The winner of each division will get a US $5,000 prize.
So a total of $20,000 are up for grabs in December, courtesy of the Federation. For several years fans and competitors have been asking if the IBJJF would compensate its athletes for their performance on IBJJF mats, so this is welcome news indeed!
It sounds like the IBJJF will choose athletes to invite based on a formula that is comprised of recent IBJJF competition performance. Certain events offer more “points” in the formula so we can predict that athletes will begin choosing which events they compete in very carefully to maximize their opportunity to earn these purses in the Pro event.
Questions that quickly come to mind:
- Will this be something the IBJJF will offer moving forward? Should we expect an annual holiday gift of jiu-jitsu superfights every December?
- The absence of monetary compensation has traditionally driven our athletes to compete in mixed martial arts. Will this stem the bleeding of our athletes into other sports?
All we can do now is speculate. We will of course attempt to learn more and when we do we’ll report back here. In the meantime, more information can be found on the ibjjf.com site.