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Kade Ruotolo Chooses Craig Jones Invitational Over ADCC: A Tough Call for Big Rewards

Kade Ruotolo Chooses Craig Jones Invitational Over ADCC: A Tough Call for Big Rewards
Kade Ruotolo

Kade Ruotolo, a jiu-jitsu phenom who recently stepped into the world of mixed martial arts, has made waves with his latest career decision. Ruotolo, alongside his brother Tye, has opted to compete in the Craig Jones Invitational (CJI) over the ADCC championships. This decision marks a significant shift in the jiu-jitsu community and was not made lightly.

Speaking on The MMA Hour, Ruotolo revealed the rationale behind this pivotal choice.

"That was a super tough decision for my brother and I,” Ruotolo said. “We were getting pulled between ADCC and that new CJI. So we were really kind of torn in both directions and made our decision to go with CJI."

One of the major factors influencing their decision was the substantial financial incentive offered by CJI.

"There’s a couple of reasons [why we chose to go there], it didn’t narrow it down to one thing," Ruotolo explained. "First, not to state the obvious, $1 million is $1 million, [that’s] just so much money. ADCC has the accolades and prestige, but with this new CJI coming into play, a lot of the hefty competitors, a lot of the sick names have left already and gone into this next division."

Moreover, the opportunity for both brothers to compete in the same division, yet on opposite sides of the bracket, was a compelling aspect.

"So I reckon my brother will be on one side of the bracket, I’ll be on the other so if all goes well, we’ll meet in the finals and have an awesome war there," Ruotolo said.

Kade Ruotolo's recent success in his MMA debut at ONE 167, where he submitted Blake Cooper in the first round, has only bolstered his confidence. With aspirations to fully immerse himself in MMA in the future, Ruotolo is keen on maximizing his earnings now, and the CJI offers a lucrative platform to do so.

"ADCC is the most prestigious no-gi tournament since they started,” Ruotolo acknowledged. “I wouldn’t say that they’re in trouble, I would say they should probably try to listen to the athletes in a sense where you see a lot of these guys move to CJI. One of the main [and] obvious reasons is you got to ADCC, you get the gold medal, you go through all the wars, and it’s only $10,000 for the winner. I think it’s $10,001 for the CJI, and then obviously $1 million to win."

For Ruotolo and many others, the financial benefits of competing in CJI are clear.

"If you’re coming from money, it’s not too big a deal, you want that prestige, you want that title, but the majority of us aren’t coming from money. We’re all trying to be first-generation millionaires. ... From a financial standpoint, it really makes sense to do this," Ruotolo concluded.

As the Ruotolo brothers prepare for the Craig Jones Invitational on August 16 and 17, the jiu-jitsu world watches with keen interest. Their choice underscores a growing trend where financial considerations weigh heavily in the decision-making processes of top athletes.


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