The Russian based combat sports promotion ACB, led by Zaurbek Khasiev first showed interest in jiu jitsu back in 2015, having since become the biggest professional league in the sport. The support displayed towards BJJ and the millions of dollars invested in grappling had life changing effects on some of our athletes, who – through this platform, have found the financial stability necessary to remain in the sport as full time professionals.
With such an investment the ACB organization has continuously grown in popularity, both in BJJ and in the mixed martial arts (MMA) circuit and although most expanding companies tend to follow a cautious approach towards personal views/opinions, this has not been the path taken by ACB or Khasiev who have continuously been outspoken on a few contentious subjects. These include the chairman’s support for controversial politician Ramzan Kadyrov (head of the Chechen Republic), the promotion’s disdain for female athletes in combat sports or for sandbagging competitors.
The latest rant posted on Mr Zaurbek Khasiev (@zaurbek_khasiev ), and later reposted by the ACB JJ official account, showed the company is not happy with professional jiu jitsu players who have so far failed to produce the level of entertainment expected by a production of this magnitude. With rare exceptions, the ACBJJ matches have been tedious and uneventful affairs, as it tends to happen with most competitive sports at the highest level. In BJJ this is no exception, one step in the wrong direction can cost the match, but unfortunately over these past events this has led to no steps being taken at all.
For this past ACBJJ show (#14) the promotion sidelined a few matches between its MMA athletes, who competed under BJJ NoGi rules. This idea proved to be a success. High level grappling with forward thinking mentality was the result the promotion had been looking for, and indeed it worked. The matches displayed by professional jiu jitsu athletes paled in comparison, in terms of entertainment value.
The lack of action shown by the jiu jitsu elite has led Zaurbek Khasiev to publicly shame the members of the ACB league and reference that he will remove his support of things do not change in the future.
DISAPPOINTED!!! With the experience in organizing BJJ events i have discovered that most of the MMA fighters make much more entertaining scrambles than most of our BJJ fighters. I have been saying for awhile now that i don’t like them fighters giving up the entertainment of combat to get the win by the points. If things keep going this way we will probably no longer cooperate with most of our BJJ athletes and will no longer make BJJ super fights, instead we will concentrate on open BJJ tournaments. No one is interested in watching two guys hugging each other for 15-25 minutes without even attempting to spice up the battle or submit their opponent. BJJ will never gain new fans if the show is so boring. Поздравляю всех братьев с отличными выступлениями, и благодарю всех за зрелищные схватки, все выступили очень зрелищно, и те кто проиграли, и те кто не попали на эти видео. Спасибо всем☝🏻 @acb_jj