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On July 14th at the London O2 arena Polaris 7 took place and it was the exciting setup for the end-of-year finale.
Polaris 7 gets straight out of the blocks with a 1 minute finish from Tom Haplin, who submitted Igor Terreco with a fantastic Kimura trap transition to an armbar. Was this a sign of things to come? We could only hope so. The next match proved to be just as exciting when SBG’s Kieran Daven dispatched favourite Lloyd “The Yorkshire Gripper” Cooper with an inside heel hook from the saddle position. The third prelim of the night saw Gracie Barra’s Oliver Lovell go up against Checkmat and Element’s Yousef Nabi. This was the first of only two gi matches, which saw Oliver finish Yousef from the back with a tight bow and arrow choke. Next we saw Eoghan O’Flanagan defeated Thomas Caughey with Caio Terra footlock, while Pedro Bessa’s domination continues with an armbar over Roger Gracie black belt Dominik Debiec. Finally we saw Polaris destroyer Miha Perhavec go against 10th Planet London’s Jamie Scott, this was another violent outing for the Slovenian as he finishes Scott with a kneebar. Someone get that kid on a bigger stage because he can go up against the very best!
While mismatches can provide a night of great submissions, even draws can provide entertainment in a chess battle kind of way. Polaris 7 was more akin for a violent game of chess, rather than Polaris 6’s submission fest.
The night starts off with Venla Luukkonen go up against local favourite Sam Cook, these two have met at previous tournaments and while Luukkonen always had the weight advantage, Cook always came out victorious. Tonight we saw Sam looking for a more leglock style of play, however the weight of Luukkonen proved to make things a little more difficult. At the match progressed, we see a very even battle between the two, with the match finishing with Cook on the back. The match goes to a split judges decision, which favoured Venla as the winner. This was a super-close match which could have gone either way (I personally picked Sam to win, but hey, i’m not a judge).
The second match of the night saw Ross Nicholls square off against Nathan Orchard from 10th Planet. This was my fight-of-the-night as both fighters went at it at an incredibly fast pace for 15 minutes, with Nathan getting the best of Ross early with his Diving Kimura trap, however Nicholls began to suss Orchard out and used the fast pace and momentum to sweep multiple times to earn him the first finals place for the Welterweight title.
Our next fight saw, Welsh prospect Ashley Williams go up against legend Masakazu Imanari. Heel hooks and leg locks galore took place during this match, with both fighters having opportunities to finish, including a novel moment where Imanari looked totally relaxed while Williams had an outside heel hook fully cinched. However, Imanari’s relaxed and perhaps lazy style saw him miss out on a place in the lightweight final, proving that work rate really is important when it comes to the judge’s decision.
The next lightweight eliminator saw Seventeen-year-old Danaher Death Squad prodigy Nicky Ryan face off against local Polaris veteran Phil Harris. This match featured the main card’s only submission, not by heel hook but by a beautiful armbar transition from the triangle, proving that the DDS system isn’t just a one-sided leg lock game.
The stage is set for the lightweight final, were Ashley Williams will face off against Nicky Ryan.
The next welterweight eliminator saw Aussie fighter and coach of Craig Jones Lachlan Giles go up against the 2nd DDS member of the night Oliver Taza. Tonight showed an evolution in Taza’s game as his youth and gas tank proved too much for Giles as he took home the victory and secured his place in the welterweight title fight against Ross Nicholls, a rematch of Polaris 5.
Our final match of the night saw Gregor Gracie go up against Gilbert Burns. Both fighters pushed the pace with dominant wrestling and old-school jiu-jitsu, however the fight was cut short after a suplex from Burns saw Gracie landing on his shoulder, forcing him to concede due to injury.
So the stage is set for Polaris 8, apparently due to be held in December. Here we will have 3 matches to determine our new female under 55kg title, mens lightweight title and mens welterweight title.
Polaris 7 Results
Tom Halpin defeats Igor Terreco via armbar from kimura trap – Catchweight (68 kg) NoGi
Kieran Davern defeats Lloyd Cooper by inside heel hook from saddle – Catchweight (80 kg) NoGi
Oliver Lovell defeats Yousuf Nabi by bow and arrow choke – Catchweight (74 kg) Gi
Eoghan O’Flanagan defeats Thomas Caughey by Caio Terra footlock – Catchweight (80 kg) NoGi
Pedro Bessa defeats Dominik Debiec by armbar – Catchweight (80 kg) Gi
Miha Perhavec defeats Jamie Scott by kneebar – Catchweight (85 kg) NoGi
Venla Luukkonen defeated Samantha Cook by referee decision – Over 55 Ladies (+55 kg) NoGi
Ross Nicholls defeated Nathan Orchard by referee decision – Welterweight Tournament Semi Finals (77.1 kg) NoGi
Ash Williams defeated Masakazu Imanari by referee decision – Featherweight Tournament Semi Finals (65.8 kg) NoGi
Oliver Taza defeated Lachlan Giles by referee decision – Welterweight Tournament Semi Finals (77.1 kg) NoGi
Nicky Ryan defeated Phil Harris by armbar from triangle – Featherweight Tournament Semi Finals (65.8 kg) NoGi
Gilbert Burns defeated Gregor Gracie by injury – Catchweight Main Event (85 kg) NoGi