Berkut Jiu Jitsu had it’s 9th event last weekend. The entire thing was streamed for free on youtube to the delight of every grappler online.
There Felipe Pena and UFC’s bjj champ Augusto Tanquinho Mendes put on quite impressive shows winning respectively the the 95kg and 60kg divisions.
ACB is Russian based BJJ organisation which has big plans for Pro BJJ events and are signing all the biggest grappling stars. They want to become the UFC of BJJ:
Augusto Mendes made a statement in his return to BJJ competition. He told MMA Fighting that he earned twice as much money competing in the Pro BJJ event as he does fighting in the UFC:
“Tanquinho” loves competing in jiu-jitsu and submission events, and winning ACB tournaments also means extra money in his pocket.
“More than twice, to be honest,” Mendes said when asked how much money he’s made at ACB JJ 9 compared to his most recent UFC fight with Aljamain Sterling. “And I even won two bonuses, fastest submission and best fight (vs. Miyao). I made more than twice in jiu-jitsu.”
And even though he’s making more money winning jiu-jitsu tournaments in Russia, the Brazilian grappler says his main goal now is competing in mixed martial arts.
“I just want to fight soon,” he said. “This is my priority. Even though I’m making a good money in jiu-jitsu, MMA is my priority. I don’t choose opponents, whoever they throw at me I will embrace and try to do my best in there.”
This is not the first UFC fighter to say they make more or as much money in Jiu-Jitsu than fighting in the world’s premiere MMA organisation.
BJJ world champion and UFC contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza discussed with Guilherme Cruz for MMA Fighting about how he could make just as much teaching Jiu-Jitsu as fighting in the UFC:
“I’m happy to be fighting. But I have no problem stopping fighting. I stopped competing in jiu-jitsu in 2005 when I was at the top of my career, and if I think it’s too much for me, that I’m full of it, I can stop fighting. That’s it. I can open my own gym, make as much money as I make fighting, and be happy. I have this dream of having my own gym, so I have no problem stopping fighting.”
“No, it doesn’t go through my mind to stop fighting, but if I get full of it, I can stop fighting. I can teach. I have this leverage. And I’m sure, I’ll have a lot of students. Do the math, 400 students training with me.”
This shows that BJJ is in a good phase at the moment with the growth of Professional BJJ tournaments where the elite can get paid and where instructors can make good money teaching.
Drysdale is a very busy man, running a big BJJ academy, a large BJJ association Zenith, has 2 kids and is even studying for a Masters degree at UNLV. He is able to make a living teaching Jiu-Jitsu:
“The elite Jiu-Jitsu practitioners today make really good money. I even make the case that the average BJJ black belt makes more money than the average MMA fighter. You have to remember, most MMA fighters are not making Conor McGregor money, they’re making nothing. They are paying to fight. So the average BJJ black belt opens a gym and he’s already making a salary. Jiu-Jitsu has become so successful around the world that there is less of an incentive for BJJ people to make that transition to MMA, if money is a motivation.