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Xande Ribeiro On CJI vs ADCC: ‘Craig’s Intentions Are Good But His Purpose is Wrong’

Xande Ribeiro On CJI vs ADCC: ‘Craig’s Intentions Are Good But His Purpose is Wrong’

2024 ADCC Hall of Fame Inductee, BJJ Legend, and Victor Hugo’s Professor, Xande Ribeiro, shared his thoughts on the Craig Jones Invitational vs. ADCC situation in a recent interview with The Everyday Perspective Podcast.

Ribeiro believes Craig Jones’ intentions are good, but the approach and timing are problematic. He explains, “I think it’s a good thing that he’s doing, just on the wrong purpose and timing. Going against ADCC is going against 20 and some years of something that actually gave him the platform to do what he’s doing.”

Ribeiro emphasizes the importance of respecting established championships like ADCC. He compares the situation to creating a tournament the same day as the IBJJF World Championships, stating, “Basically what he’s doing is, if I would have gone and put a tournament the same day that IBJJF World Championships, and I just have a lot of money, that’s what I’m doing.”

He acknowledges the benefits of transparency in the sport, “What he brought is a great thing in the sense of, like, hey, let’s open up the books, right? Let’s make something a little more clear.” However, he stresses that the ADCC has always treated its athletes well, and improvements could be made without undermining the existing championship.

Ribeiro is critical of the financial approach behind the Craig Jones Invitational, “Craig Jones has no history of doing anything in the sport as far as organizing. It’s very easy if you have a guy behind you that has a couple of million dollars to waste, that’s basically what it is.” He contrasts this with his experience in the sport, noting the financial sacrifices he made to compete.

On the broader context of financial rewards in combat sports, Ribeiro comments on the comparatively prosperous state of jiu-jitsu. He says, “People are pretty spoiled in a sense of, like, we have such a rich industry right compared to mixed martial arts, compared to judo, karate, anything after boxing.” He highlights that even lower-ranked athletes in jiu-jitsu can earn money, which is not common in other combat sports.

Ribeiro also discusses potential repercussions for athletes participating in the Craig Jones Invitational. He mentions that ADCC might require these athletes to compete in trials again to earn invitations in the future, which he views as fair. “You might just have to compete in a trial to get to the next event, and I think it will be fair. You want to come in again? You were off my list. Now you just went to an event that’s a non-existent event, but he walks around with a million dollars in cash.”

While Xande Ribeiro appreciates the initiative to improve transparency and athlete compensation, he believes it should be done in a way that respects and builds upon the legacy of established championships like ADCC.

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