Paulo Miyao recently opened fire on a grappling promotion that has gone unnamed, because of a $1,000 offer that he received to take a match on their card. Miyao is far from the first BJJ competitor to point out the difficulty of making good money for their performances, but he is one of the first to actually publicly disclose the offers he’s getting. He even provided screenshots of the conversation with the promoter that show that he was only offered $1,000 to take the match and another $1,000 on the condition that he wins, something that no competitor is ever guaranteed of course.
Other popular competitors like Roberto Jimenez have made a point of saying that a lot of grappling promotions don’t offer much money, while Miyao actually revealed that his offer came from ‘one of the biggest jiu jitsu events in the world’. It’s a shame too, because Miyao is a legendary competitor who is known for having incredibly exciting matches every time he steps on the mats. With over a decade of competition at the highest level and hundreds of matches against elite competitors, he’s definitely earned the right to be paid well for the work that he does.
One point that Miyao makes is a very common one, that the ability to make a living out of competition is rare in the professional grappling world. Other elite athletes have said time and time again that the real money comes from other avenues like opening your own academy, teaching seminars to the public, or selling instructionals. Things are starting to change for the better slowly but surely though, as promotions are offering more money and some have even hit six-figure prizes now. That’s what makes the $1,000 offer that Miyao received so surprising, the best promotions in the world have been able to pay far more than that in recent years.
Paulo Miyao made the announcement that an unnamed grappling promotion only offered him $1,000 for a match in a recent post to his official Instagram account (Translated from the original Portuguese):
“Have you thought about dedicating 15 interrupted years of your life to a profession? Recognized as one of the world’s best in the area. Having taught in over 20 different countries Have your own school with over 150 students in less than a year of operation. Having a social media with almost half a million followers and being one of the most active content producing in the area. Imagine all this and getting an invite to test your knowledge with another field expert at one of the world’s largest conferences for $1,000.
It ain’t little money but in my opinion it’s little consideration. This was an offer I had to fight in one of the biggest jiu jitsu events in the world. Although it makes me a little sad because, as I said, I dedicated 15 years of my life to this sport, it also leaves me at peace and with a clear conscience that I have decided to turn away from competitions relatively young and have devoted myself to studying and improving myself in others areas.
Competitive jiu jitsu will, for now and unfortunately, only provide a comfortable retirement for a few athletes. A piece of advice to the young people who follow me: train hard and give your all as competitors, but also dedicate yourself to improving other Jiu Jitsu related skills such as teaching, communicating and selling. That way you won’t have to accept any and every proposal.”