Former UFC champion officially enters Craig Jones Invitational as focus shifts from ADCC to the CJI 

Craig Jones (left) and CJI poster (right) as sports for the tournament continue to fill up, with former UFC champion entering  [Images Courtesy: @craigjonesbjj on Instagram]
Craig Jones (left) and CJI poster (right) as sports for the tournament continue to fill up, with former UFC champion entering [Images Courtesy: @craigjonesbjj on Instagram]

The Craig Jones Invitational (CJI) is stirring things up in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu community like never before, as he goes from competitor-to-promoter in a matter of months. His newly-created tournament has a $1 million prize for the winners of each category, and has grabbed the attention of many of the sport's best.

The Australian submission grappler is one of the most popular athletes in BJJ, with his connection to UFC fighters such as Alexander Volkanovski only helping grow his profile.

Jones stunned the BJJ community last month by announcing he would not be competing at the 2024 Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) World Championships - the sport's most prestigious tournament.

He cited a lack of financial benefit as the main reason for opting out of ADCC 2024, and instead used his connections to organize an invitational tournament of his own. To complicate things further, the CJI takes place on the same weekend as ADCC 2024 in August.

Jones recently announced that former UFC middleweight champion and talented BJJ competitor Luke Rockhold will be competing at the CJI. The Australian took to Instagram on Monday (May 27) and posted this:

"Luke Rockhold confirmed +80kg. Confirmed legend."

See Craig Jones' post below:

According to Jones, the event will have two weight categories, under 80 and over 80 kg, with the winner of each receiving $1 million.

Rockhold is full of confidence ahead of his return to competitive grappling, as he took to the comment section and wrote this:

"Don't be surprised when I win this"
Screenshot of Luke Rockhold's comment of Jones' post
Screenshot of Luke Rockhold's comment of Jones' post

Craig Jones clashes with ADCC organizer as CJI turns BJJ on its head

Craig Jones has made three shocking announcements since April: firstly stating that he will not feature at ADCC 2024, before dropping a bombshell retirement announcement, and then annoucing his own invitational tournament - the CJI.

His comments about the lack of financial benefit of competing at ADCC appear to have ruffled the feathers of the event's organizer, Mo Jassim.

The Australian recently took to Instagram to post an old photo of himself with Jassim, and quoted a Kendrick Lamar lyric from a song released during his beef with Drake.

Jones wrote this:

"Don't tell no lies about me and I won't tell truths about you... Podcast invitation still open @mojassim80?"

See Craig Jones' post below:

The pair traded words in the comments section below:

Jones and Mo Jassim trading words in the comments
Jones and Mo Jassim trading words in the comments

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now