A BJJ black-belt with almost 20 years in the business of organizing fighting events, Fepa Lopes sat down with Graciemag this week to analyze BJJ Stars Black Belt Edition, an event held last Saturday in São Paulo.
To Fepa, the event was 90% a success, with sensational duels featuring the best fighters in the world today, as well as some legendary veterans. The turmoil involving the main fight’s athletes, which resulted in the event ending prematurely, was just a small part of the whole.
He also had some harsh words for those who did pirate livestreams. “The athlete needs to change their thinking a bit,” he says 3’40” into the video below. “Athletes who were not involved in the event livestreaming in order to generate followers. They have to understand that they make a living off this, and the people paying their salary is being harmed by this. And how are we getting the resources to pay these salaries? With ticket sales and pay-per-view sales.”
He adds at 4’42”: “We are betting on this. And then you come — the athletes — and livestream, take away the only way we have of bringing in money to pay you… I think that is very ignorant on your part. So let’s all row in our own favor. Let’s all make jiu-jitsu grow. Rest assured that BJJ Stars is a brand that will always work for the growth of the sport. I’m counting on you, the athletes.”