Which BJJ Tournament Organizations Offer Cash Prizes

06.01.2022 by

For the longest time, BJJ pro athletes made little to no money from competitions. But with Jiu Jitsu getting bigger, there are more BJJ organizations offering cash prizes than ever before.

Now professional BJJ athletes can now make a living off of competing in various tournaments and pro Jiu Jitsu events. For those curious which BJJ tournament organizations offer cash prizes, we made this detailed list of the best places to get paid to win!

Below are quick bios on each BJJ tournament organization with cash prizes and what their payouts look like.

International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF)

The IBJJF is the most prestigious and successful BJJ tournament organization in the world. It was originally called the Confederação Brasileiro Jiu Jitsu(CBJJ) within Brazil and was founded by Carlos Gracie Jr.

In 2002, Carlos Gracie Jr took the organization international and founded the IBJJF. Every year since, the IBJJF has held their world championship events in Long Beach, California.

In the past, many have criticized the IBJJF for their lack of prize money offered at Worlds, but the organization has resolved this oversight and now offers significant cash prizes to its victors. There is more incentive than ever for the world’s best BJJ pro athletes to be at their best and go all out for the gold.

IBJJF Payouts

The IBJJF offers a maximum grand prize of $7,000 in each black belt division at Worlds and absolute black belt world champions earn $10,000.

However, to receive this amount there must be over 33 competitors competing in the same bracket.

  • Black Belt Divisions
  1. $7,000
  2. No prize money. Go big or go home empty handed!
  • Black Belt Absolute Divisions
  1. $10,000
  2. No prize money. Go big or go home empty handed!

UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup

While not quite as famous as the IBJJF, the United Arab Emirates Jiu Jitsu Foundation, UAEJJF for short, has become one of the favorite competitions for pro BJJ athletes.

The UAEJJF was founded in 2009 by Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, himself an avid Jiu Jitsu practitioner who wanted to give more opportunities for BJJ athletes to earn money.

Not only does first place get paid, but so do the second and third place finishers. These prizes aren’t just for black belts; every first to third place competitor at every rank from blue belt to brown belt takes home prize money. Everybody gets a shot at getting paid at the World Professional Jiu Jitsu Cup!

At their world championship event last November, the UAEJJF raised the stakes significantly, paying out over $800,000 in cash prizes.

UAEJJF Payouts

  • Men’s Black Belt Divisions
  1. $15,000
  2. $8,000
  3. $5,000
  • Women’s Black Belt Divisions
  1. $10,000
  2. $5,000
  3. $3,000
  • Men’s Master 1 Black Belt Divisions
  1. $6,000
  2. $3,000
  3. $1,500
  • Men’s/Women’s Brown Belt Divisions:
  1. $6,000
  2. $3,000
  3. $1,500
  1. $4,000
  2. $2,000
  3. $1,000
  • Men’s/Women’s Blue Belt Divisions
  1. $2,000
  2. $1,000
  3. $500

(As of 2016, the UAEJJF no longer has absolute divisions. They felt it was unfair to smaller competitors as the largest black belt competitors often doubled their prize money.)

Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC)

The BJJ tournament organization known as the ADCC holds the most prestigious no-gi championship in the world. This was one of the first grappling organizations that started offering big prize money to its competitors.

ADCC was founded by Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 1998. His goal was to put on the greatest submission grappling championship tournament and he no doubt achieved that.

Sheik Nahyan’s BJJ tournament organization is not stingy with their payouts to their athletes either, not only giving prize money to the top 4 competitors of each division, but also other cash prize awards.

These additional prizes include best fighter, best submission, best takedown, fastest submission, and best match.

ADCC Payouts

  • Men’s Divisions
  1. $10,0000
  2. $5,000
  3. $3,000
  4. $1,000
  • Men’s Absolute
  1. $40,000
  2. $10,000
  3. $5,000
  4. $1,000
  • Women’s Divisions
  1. $6,000
  2. $3,000
  3. $2,000
  4. $1,000
  • Superfight

Winner: $40,000

Loser: $10,000

  • Other cash prize awards
    • Best Match: $1,400(Split)
    • Best Fighter: $1,400
    • Best Takedown: $1,400
    • Best Submission: $1,400
    • Fastest Submission: $1,400

Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) / Combat Jiu Jitsu

Eddie Bravo has had a big influence in this current wave of new BJJ tournament organizations offering cash prizes. In 2015, Bravo founded his own organization called the Eddie Bravo Invitational.

The tournaments he put on were incredibly successful and helped launch the careers of some of Jiu Jitsu’s biggest stars.

Bravo went on to create another EBI-style event called Combat Jiu Jitsu – competitions where you’re allowed to throw open hand strikes against your opponent while on the ground.

At EBI and Combat Jiu Jitsu tournaments only the tournament winners get prize money, but competitors are given the opportunity to earn additional money by submitting their opponents.

Garry Tonon submitted all 5 of his opponents at EBI 5, doubling his earnings and showing it can be quite lucrative to compete in one of Eddie Bravo’s events.

EBI / Combat Jiu Jitsu Payouts

  • Tournament Winners: $10,000
  • Submission Bonus: $2,000

Polaris Pro Grappling

Polaris Pro Grappling is currently the longest running BJJ tournament organization in Europe. Polaris was founded in 2015 by Matthew Benyon, Ben Tong, Gareth Dummer, Lee Jones.

Thanks to these four, the best grapplers in Europe and the world have gotten the chance to earn nice paydays. In the short time this competition has been running it has put on 18 pro Jiu Jitsu tournaments and has crowned nine different champions and three different team champions.

Polaris doesn’t disclose information on individual pay, but in championship matches, the winners earn $10k. The organization also gives out performance and submission bonuses to grapplers as an incentive for the competitors.

You can catch all of the Polaris Pro Grappling events on UFC Fight Pass.

Polaris Pro Payouts

  • Championship Winners: $10,000
  • Performance Bonus: Undisclosed
  • Submission Bonus: Undisclosed

Kasai Elite Grappling

On the east coast of the US, grappling legend Rolles Gracie has been running great pro grappling shows since 2017. His promotion is called Kasai Elite Grappling and Rolles, along with his team, have really worked hard building up Kasai.

The way they do business and run their shows has attracted elite top level grapplers from around the world. Competing for prizes are currently as high as $20,000 for champions and tournament winners.

Kasai now runs shows across the US and also hosts amateur events, giving young and aspiring grapplers a chance to showcase their skills.

Kasai Payouts

  • Champions/Tournament Winners: $20,000

Third Coast Grappling (3CG)

In 2019, some students of BJJ legend Draculino Magalhaes decided to put together their own BJJ show, showcasing some of the world’s best grapplers, as well as some of the best lower ranked grapplers across Texas.

For their tournaments, which they call kumites, 3CG has offered big grand prizes ranging from $10k to $15k. They’ve been able to put on most of these shows thanks to the local talent they spotlight.

3CG gives their local and pro competitors a cut of the tickets they sell for the event. Not only are the pros getting paid, but so are the young amateur competitors. 

3CG Payouts

  • Tournament Winners: $10,000-$15,000
  • % of ticket sales

Fury Grappling

Originally called Submission Hunters, Fury Grappling is another startup BJJ organization from Houston, Texas. The competition was started by Eric Garcia who also runs the Fury Fighting Championship which airs on UFC Fight Pass.

At first, the tournament started small, running pro style BJJ shows that primarily spotlighted the region’s best kid grapplers. Garcia’s promotion just kept getting bigger and world champions began competing on the shows. They just had their biggest event yet that featured various big names from both MMA and BJJ.

Fury Grappling does not disclose what they pay fighters, but it can’t be bad considering the big names they’ve gotten to compete with them. Also like Third Coast Grappling, Fury Grappling relies on local talent to sell tickets to make the shows happen.

Fury Grappling Payouts

  • Fighter Pay: Undisclosed
  • Bonuses: Undisclosed
  • % of Tickets Sold

Fight 2 Win (F2W)

Fight 2 Win has been one of the longest running BJJ tournament organizations in the US. The Colorado based promotion started over a decade ago putting on tournaments in Colorado and Texas.

Seth Daniel’s company has now evolved into running pro and amateur BJJ shows across the country. They had many of the best grapplers in the world headline their shows including Rafael Lavato Jr.

F2W invites competitors to apply to compete at their shows and has an application on their website.

F2W Payouts

  • Fighter Pay: Undisclosed
  • Submission Bonus: Get full purse with submission win (50% for decision wins.)

Submission Underground (SUG)

The bad guy himself Chael Sonnen runs a very popular pro Jiu Jitsu promotion called Submission Underground.

This organization is a bit different than the normal BJJ pro shows that are put on, with all of the matches taking place within an MMA cage to give the shows a different vibe.

So far since founding SUG, Sonnen has put on nearly 30 shows, and has had everyone from Gordon Ryan to UFC fighter Jon Jones compete on the shows.

Submission Underground does not release what they pay their fighters, but there’s allegedly a hierarchy system. Black belts and world champions get paid the most and it goes down from there.

SUG Payouts

  • Competitor Pay: Undisclosed
  • Bonuses: Undisclosed

High Rollerz

This is probably the most unorthodox BJJ tournament organization running today. High Rollerz are BJJ shows and tournaments put on by people that love Jiu Jitsu… and marijuana.

High Rollerz is based in Las Vegas, Nevada and has run multiple shows in marijuana friendly states.

Winners of High Rollerz tournaments were shown winning humongous bags of marijuana. But now as of High Rollerz 10, the promotion is starting to give cash prizes for tournament winners with weed being offered to the runner-ups.

High Rollerz Payouts

  • Tournament Winners
  1. $10,000
  2. A Big Bag Of Weed

(Prize winnings depend on the tournament.)

World Series Of Jiu Jitsu (WSOJJ)

The World Series of Jiu Jitsu is another organization that is paying their competitors rather nicely. They’re not only paying black belts, but also have a focus on getting young up and comers paid for their skills.

WSOJJ puts on numerous tournaments in nearly every state in the US, giving everyone from blue belt to brown belt a chance at earning cash prizes.

Their usual pay scale ranges from $200 to $1200 depending on skill levels and how many are in the tournament.

WSOJJ Payouts

  • Tournaments Winners: $200-$1200

BJJ Stars

BJJ Stars is new, but they’ve quickly become a favorite among top BJJ professional athletes. They are easily the best professional BJJ show within Brazil and maybe top five in the world.

Founder Fernando Lopes is a black belt in Jiu Jitsu himself and is immensely passionate about the martial art. World champions like Felipe Pena and Leandro Lo and new stars like Gutemberg Pereira and Marcus Scooby have competed in their shows.

While BJJ Stars doesn’t disclose their payouts, reviews of the promotion have only been positive. In 2022, they’re going to put on even more shows in Sao Paulo with bigger payouts.

BJJ Stars Payouts

  • Competitor Pay: Undisclosed

Copa Alfa Barra

If you ever want to compete in Brazil, there is no shortage of options for you to choose from. There is one BJJ tournament organization in Rio de Janeiro that gives prize money for every division.

Copa Alfa Barra offers this prize money at multiple events per year.

This opportunity to win ensures numerous athletes sign up for each Copa Alfa Barra competition. What this organization is doing is very interesting and hopefully it catches on with other BJJ organizations.

Copa Alfa Barra Payouts ($1 USD = ~ $5.50 Brazilian Reals) 

  • Men’s Black Belt – Light (up to 76kg gi) and Heavy (over 76kg) 

Champion: R$ 1,200

  • Men’s Black Belt, Masters 1 and 2 – Light (up to 76kg gi) and Heavy (over 76kg)

           Champion: R$ 1,000

  • Men’s Black Belt, Masters 3+ – Light (up to 76kg gi) and Heavy (over 76kg)

           Champion: R$ 800

  • Men’s Brown Belt – Light (up to 76kg gi) and Heavy (over 76kg)

            Champion: R$ 700

  • Men’s Purple Belt – Light (up to 76kg gi) and Heavy (over 76kg)

Champion: R$ 600

  • Men’s Blue Belt – Light (up to 76kg gi) and Heavy (over 76kg)

            Champion: R$ 500 

  • Men’s Juvenile – Blue Belt – Light (up to 69kg gi) and Heavy (over 69kg)

            Champion: R$ 400

  • Women’s Brown and Black Belt (together) – Light (up to 64kg gi) and Heavy (over 64kg)

           Champion: R$ 1,200

  • Women’s Purple Belt – Light (up to 64kg gi) and Heavy (over 64kg)

           Champion: R$ 600

  • Women’s Blue Belt – Light (up to 64kg gi ) and Heavy (over 64kg)

           Champion: R$ 500

  • Women’s Juvenile Blue Belt – Light (up to 56.5kg gi) and Heavy (above 56 kg)

           Champion: R$ 400

What The Future Holds for BJJ Competitions

As the sport of Jiu Jitsu gets bigger and bigger, these BJJ tournament organizations are leading the revolution. Just a decade ago, BJJ athletes couldn’t dream of making a living off of competing, but today that is a real possibility.

Which BJJ Tournament Organizations Offer Cash Prizes 2 Which BJJ Tournament Organizations Offer Cash Prizes BJJ Tournament Organization

BJJ is heading in the right direction as far as offering more opportunities to compete and get paid for it. It is up to us in the Jiu Jitsu community to keep the sport progressing.

We must continue supporting BJJ tournament organizations like the ones listed above and help them continue to grow. If we do that, BJJ pros will earn more and give more opportunities for future competitors.

BJJ Tournament Organizations with Cash Prizes

These are just some of the top BJJ tournament organizations that offer cash prizes to their competitors. If there are some we missed, please tell us, so we can help support their efforts.

These tournaments represent the future of where the sport of Jiu Jitsu is headed and we should all try to help them grow. In doing this we’re helping current and future athletes make a living off of Jiu Jitsu and ensuring the sport continues to develop.