The Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational is back for its 11th instalment of its groundbreaking submission-only competitive grappling and this time we’re pushing new boundaries with their first female headliner match, which is sure to be an absolute cracker.
This instalment of Polaris also sees the event heading up north for the first time, where the event will be held at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. In this piece, we will be breaking down each main event card and letting you know which Prelim match you should be keeping your eye on!
Polaris 11 Main Card Preview
Ffion Davies VS Talita Alencar – Featherweight Title Match (-55 kg) NOGI
For the first time in Polaris’ history, we have a female headline matchup and it’s going to be an absolute storm. In March 2019 Ffion won the female featherweight title by submitting the formidable Gezary Matuda, in a match which would propel her to the heights of grappling stardom.
From that win, Ffion has won multiple IBJJF titles as well as other invitational events and has quickly become one of the sport’s most sought after names.
If we thought Gezary Matuda was going to be a tough match for Ffion then Talita Alencar is on a whole new plane. Black belt under Theodoro Canal, Talita now trains under the Alliance Banner at their Los Angeles headquarters with the legend Rubens Charles ‘Cobrinha’.
These two have actually met before at the Eddie Bravo Invitational, where Ffion put Alencar in a lot of trouble with tight choke, which she managed to escape. Alencar then returned the favour with a back take and choke of her own to finish Davies.
Since 2017 Ffion’s game has grown considerably, so expect both of them to be going out looking for the finish in what should be a fantastic headliner
Mansher Khera VS Edwin Najmi – Welterweight Title Match (77.1 kg) NOGI
Our male title match sees unity’s Mansher ‘Munch’ Khera, go up against Gracie Garra’s Edwin Najmi. Mansher was able to secure the Polaris Welterweight title after a close match against Absolute MMA‘s Lachlan Giles and he will be looking to work his heavy top-pressure style game against Najmi.
Edwin Najmi, a replacement for number one contender Vagner Rocha, is looking to make his Polaris debut by taking the title from Khera. While many would probably suggest that Ross Nicholls should be given a shot for the title, considering he won the title qualifiers and is technically the number two contender, Najmi has taken up the call.
Expect flying submission attempts from Najmi and heavy wrestling from both as they tune-up for ADCC. This should be a great title matchup.
Paddy Pimblett VS Stevie Ray – Welterweight (77.1 kg) NOGI
Liverpool’s favourite MMA fighter Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett makes his submission grappling debut against UFC lightweight Stevie “Braveheart” Ray. Typically MMA fighters don’t tend to do so well in submission-only grappling, especially when it’s an MMA fighter against a Jiu-Jitsu competitor. This time it’s two MMA fighters who a both known for their submission finishes in the cage.
Expect no guard pulling in this matchup, which looks like it should be a grinding style match.
Marcos Tinoco VS Tommy Langaker – Middleweight (83.9 kg) GI
Our middleweight matchup is the only gi match of the main event, however just because its a gi match doesn’t mean it’s going to be boring, especially when Tommy Langaker is competing.
This has the potential to be the fight of the night as these two are no stranger to each other. Both Tommy and Marcos have faced one another at numerous IBJJF events, and both have wins against each other.
All I have to say that is is going to be an absolute barn burner of a match up and if you don’t believe me, go and watch all of Tommy’s matches on Polaris, especially his recent matchup against Sebastian Brosche. Amazing.
Satoshi Ishii VS Arya Esfandmaz – Catchweight (110 kg) NOGI
These two are very familiar with the Polaris stage, with Esfandmaz with a win over Jamie Hughes and Ishii with a frustrating loss against Daniel Strauss.
This is an interesting matching with Esfandmaz being the favourite if he can get his game working, however, Ishii has been known to have ungodly strength, so if he can get on top, it could be a frustrating night for one of these two.
Ben Dyson VS Nick Rodriguez – Catchweight (103 kg) NOGI
Polaris veteran Ben Dyson is back on UK soil and he’s going up against breakout Jiu-Jitsu star Nicky Rodriguez. Dyson has been travelling the US and Canada training at some of the best gyms in the world and it’s shown after he won the European trials and a place at ADCC.
Blue belt, Nicky Rod, has become a household grappling name after winning the North American ADCC trials by steamrolling his competitors. The days he’s seen grappling with the very best in John Danaher‘s blue basement.
Even though this is a 103kg bout, this is going to be a fast explosive matchup.
Chris Fishgold VS Liam Cann – Catchweight (74 kg) NOGI
UFC competitor and teammate of Paddy Pimblett, Chris Fishgold, goes up against Leeds’ own submission grappler Liam Cann. Fishgold is looking for a win on the Polaris stage and Cann is the man he needs to defeat. While not many people known Liam, Liam is one of the breakout UK stars of grappling, holding numerous wins in various submission-only events in the UK as well as local MMA bouts.
Expect both guys to come out hard on this, with Cann looking for his signature leg local game, which fish gold looks to get on top and grind.
Polaris 11 Prelims
One of the best things about Polaris are the prelim matches, sometimes these matches are more exciting than the main event. This event’s prelims see some of the best UK talent putting on the line on the big stage. Don’t miss out on all the matches as they are sure to be fantastic!
Jed Hue VS Nastasa Silviu Georgian – Absolute (- kg) NOGI
Lloyd Cooper VS Matty Holmes – Catchweight (85 kg) NOGI
Tommi Pulkkanen VS Marcus Phelan – Catchweight (74 kg) GI
Adam Adshead VS Enrique Villasenor – Catchweight (64 kg) GI
Sean McDonagh VS Tarik Hopstock – Catchweight (80 kg) NOGI
Kristin Mikkelson VS Yas Wilson – Catchweight (60 kg) GI
Kieran Davern VS Fred Greenall – Middleweight (83.9 kg) NOGI
Chris Walsh VS Nathan Jones – Middleweight (83.9 kg) NOGI