EBI to add limited strikes in 2017

The birth of the UFC in 1993 spurred massive growth in mixed martial arts and to a lesser extent grappling and BJJ as well. The latter two disciplines have the advantage of being accessible for participation by everyone from the age of four to well into the 70s. MMA not so much.

However, as a spectator sport, grappling and BJJ are generally only interesting if you do them, which limits the pool of people who will pay to watch. Metamoris tried to make grappling spectator friendly and succeeded in many ways, but then faltered ignominiously.

The effort to turn Jiu-Jitsu into a viable spectator sport has now been taken up magnificently by the ever-innovative Eddie Bravo. His Eddie Bravo Invitational streams on UFC Fight Pass, and starting next year, will add selectively limited strikes.

Everything will be exactly the same except open palm strikes the head are legal on the ground, coming 2017 #ohshit

A photo posted by Eddie Bravo (@eddiebravo10) on

Bravo explained the concept further in an interview with BJPENN.com Radio. He noted that it is not going to be MMA, which Bravo described as “the top dog” and “most gangsta.”

“Imagine EBI just the way it is, 16-man jiu-jitsu tournament, same stage, everything looking the same, same 10-minute rounds with the overtimes, except when the competitors are on the ground, open palm strikes, old Pancrase style to open up the submissions, to increase the submissions even more,” he said, as transcribed by Chris Zahar for Jiu-Jitsu Times. “No punches, no MMA gloves … no elbows, no kicks … we’re going to have that in 2017.”

(49:34 mark)