Currently while mixed martial arts is enjoying an immense boost in popularity, the sport of submission grappling does not have a large, regular platform for its competitors to earn money. However in the past 18 months, event promoters have put together one-time shows which bring together the world’s best submission grapplers to compete for large prizes.
In the United States, the Professional Submission League has held two shows, and the United Kingdom has the 10K Ground Challenge. Brazil is making a significant contribution to the effort with the upcoming Super Challenge, to be held on December 8th.
The event will present sixteen competitors vying for large prizes. At the moment the list of elite grapplers who have agreed to participate includes:
- Robert Drysdale
- Fabricio Werdum
- Delson Heleno
- Alliance’s Tarsys Humphries
- Jeff Monson, who won the 10K Ground Challenge
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
- Flavio Almeida
- Demian Maia, who recently won his debut UFC fight
- David Avellan
- Roger Gracie, who won the black belt division in his weight class and in the open division of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championships this year
Four different prizes will be available that evening:
- $15,000 for first place
- $8,000 for second place
- $4,000 for third place
- $1,000 for the fastest submission
Rickson Gracie will be present as the event’s rules director as well as technical commentator. To ensure that there is no stalling and that the athletes work for submissions, new rules have been implemented. In an email with the promoter, we learned that:
- If a fighter put his opponent in a real submission situation and keep the position for more than 5 seconds it will result on 3 points even if the opponent scape from the position after that.
- Sweeps, side mount and inversions will earn 1 point. Mount and taking the back are worth 2 points.
The organizers of the event state that the competition will be available on internet pay-per-view.
The Super Challenge will be held in the Club Athletico Paulistano, which is the same location that the Brazilian team-based MMA league, the MTL has held its two events.