ADCC Organizer Sends D*ath Threat to CJI’s Craig Jones

ADCC Organizer Sends D*ath Threat to CJI’s Craig Jones

The world of professional grappling has been shaken by a controversial clash between two prominent figures: Seth Daniels, CEO of Fight2Win and ADCC organizer, and renowned grappler Craig Jones. The conflict arose when Jones organized his own Craig Jones Invitational (CJI) on the same weekend and in the same city as ADCC 2024, a move that Daniels did not appreciate. According to Jones, Daniels sent him a death threat through a social media private message, promising to end Jones’ life if he threatened his business or family. Daniels wrote:

“You need to realize I’m not Mo (Jassim). You have attacked my work and sh*t and everything I’ve done in the past 5 years. If you attack me, my family or my family like your cunts are doing to Mo, I will f*cking kill you. I’m not saying this lightly, I will end your f*cking life.”


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A post shared by Craig Jones (@craigjonesbjj)

The Exodus to CJI

The controversy has led to a significant number of ADCC athletes opting to compete at CJI instead. The appeal is undeniable: CJI offers a guaranteed $10,001 and a staggering $1 million in prize money. Jones has been vocal about his concerns regarding the stagnant growth of prize money in the sport, despite its rising popularity. In a recent discussion with The Mac Life, Jones highlighted how inflation has eroded the real value of prize money:

“Well technically, due to inflation the ADCC prize money is diminished. $10,000 is worth less today. I didn’t want to rub it in that bad, but I think I will.”

Economic Disparity and Unionization

Jones drew parallels between the grappling world and broader economic trends, likening the situation to “corporate America” where the disparity between work and compensation continues to grow. He cited dynamic pricing by companies like Wendy’s as an example and made a pointed comment:

“Wendy’s deserves it, FloGrappling doesn’t. I don’t think us athletes do either.”

The idea of unionizing to advocate for better prize money and overall compensation for athletes was suggested. However, Jones humorously noted the potential hurdles:

“The average grappler couldn’t spell ‘union’.”

Jones’ comments underscore the need for more substantial financial incentives for competitors, especially in prestigious tournaments such as the ADCC, where athletes compete solely for prize money without any appearance fees.

Seth Daniels’ Response

Seth Daniels, who organized the last ADCC Worlds under Mo Jassim, responded to Jones’ statements with a detailed post revealing the financial realities and costs of organizing such an event:

“Enjoy this post before @mojassim80 makes me take it down. I’ve been quiet on social media for a long time, but I’m sick of this shit. In 2022, the prize money for @adcc_official was $330,600. Venue cost was $662,000. Production cost $413,000 and over $500,000 flying in over 105 athletes from all over the world, putting them up at the MGM Grand for 4 days, feeding and transporting them. Not to mention flying in all the judges and referees.”

Daniels emphasized that the ADCC Worlds is by far the most attended, most watched, and greatest grappling event in the world, despite never making a profit on a world championship:

“It’s truly mind-blowing to me how ignorant some people are assuming the event is making millions. Do the fucking math. We have never made a dollar on a world championship. Athletes also make money on their sponsorships, video sales, seminars, super fights after, and everything else they gain from ADCC exposure.”

Daniels concluded with a challenge to those criticizing the event’s financial management:

“If you think you can do better, go raise $2,000,000 just to pay for T-Mobile Arena, not to mention all the other costs, and do it yourself.”

The feud between Seth Daniels and Craig Jones has brought to light critical issues within the grappling community, from the financial sustainability of major events to the fair compensation of athletes. As the dust settles, the community watches closely, awaiting the next moves of these influential figures and the potential long-term impact on the sport’s future.