Nicholas Meregali Criticizes IBJJF: “Sport Is Becoming Increasingly Commercial & Cheap”

Nicholas Meregali Criticizes IBJJF: “Sport Is Becoming Increasingly Commercial & Cheap”

The controversial disqualification of Tainan Dalpra at the 2024 IBJJF World Championships has ignited significant criticisms throughout the BJJ community.

Dalpra, a two-time IBJJF world champion, was disqualified from the Adult Black Belt Middleweight division quarterfinals for using an illegal reaping/dangerous knee position – leaving fans and competitors questioning the ruleset.

And, well, among the competitors is Nicholas Meregali, who publicly criticized the IBJJF.
Here’s what he had to say [translated from Portuguese]:

Watching the event today hurt my heart.

I can’t explain how we came out of this era in 2004 to what we live today from gi Jiu Jitsu.
We are all congratulating, as we are able to destroy a sport.

Meregali explained what’s destroying the sport, in his opinion:

Every year kimono jiu jitsu gets more confusing.
– The rule gets more confusing.
– We have more downgrades in events
– We have more closures in categories
– We have more fake fights where victories are made
– Referee scandal
– Doping cases
– Fights are more fought on
– More athletes fully unprepared and fortunately win events
– The list could be long but I’ll stop here…

He adds:

Sport is increasingly commercial and cheap, and unfortunately, in the hands of people who play business with mastery and make everything that takes the brilliance of the sport look like “Martial Art”.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by M E R E G A L I (@nicholasmeregali)

And it appears that this has prompted Meregali to start thinking about organizing his own gi event:

I will pay out of my own pocket the 4 athletes more than they will win the event they are fighting today, and I will also put a $50k prize for the champion (in case I will reward myself hahahhaha).

I will organize the event for after the ADCC, until then I won’t lose focus on double gold.

A lot of people can complain, but I will be funding an event out of my own pocket, paying athletes more than they’ve been paid to fight in kimono in life and I will still give them the chance to fight and share the tatame with the best in the world.