On March 15th, we see the return of Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational, and like always, the matchmakers have carefully considered their matchups to once again bring fans the very best of the British and world-wide Jiu-Jitsu action.
However, there is something very special about this particular show, this Polaris show is about to give some big names in British BJJ a one-way ticket to the Jiu-Jitsu big leagues. But first, they need to overcome some formidable opponents
Polaris 9 Main Card Preview
Santeri Lilius vs Eduardo ‘Teta’ Rios – Gi Middleweight (84 kg) Superfight
Our first match of the night sees two Polaris veterans return for the only Gi match on the main card. Finland’s Santeri Lilius goes up against Brazil’s Eduardo ‘Teta’ Rios. Both fighters are looking to make their single Polaris wins into doubles.
While Rios is a heavy top player, he will need to stay out of Lilius’ 50/50 guard. Both of Lilus’ matches have ended up in this guard where action can slow to a crawl. If Eduardo can push the pace of the match and stay out of 50/50 then we should have an exciting match on our hands.
Darragh O’Connaill vs Mike Perez – NoGi Middleweight (84 kg) Superfight
Our first of many NoGi matchups on the Polaris card see’s East Coast BJJ’s Darragh O’Connaill go up against Atos’ Mike Perez.
This is a match this going to be all about work rate, both of these guys are very active when it comes to their grappling. Darragh has been known for his guillotine submissions in NoGi since forever, while Mike Perez, who made his name as a successful grappler since purple belt will be looking to be snatching something out of the scramble.
Tom Halpin vs Ethan Crelinsten – NoGi Lightweight (65 kg) Contender Match
Our first of the underdog matchups sees Tom Halpin go up against the first blue basement grappler Ethan Crelinsten.
Black belt under the legendary Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu, Tom made a name for himself on the show for his super quick submissions over Brett Johns and Igor Terreco, and now he goes up against his toughest opponent yet.
ADCC competitor Ethan Crelinsten studies under John Danaher at Renzo Gracie’s New York Academy, so with high calibre training partners such as Nicky Ryan, Garry Tonon and Oliver Taza, you know he’s going to be game for a leglock battle.
This is going to be a high-level game of footlock chess, where both players will be reluctant to give up their heels or face a savage finish.
Ross Nicholls vs Vagner Rocha – NoGi Welterweight (77 kg) Contender Match
Our first HUGE matchup of the night is Polaris favourite Ross Nicholls, going up against the savage Vagner Rocha.
Ross was meant to fight Manser Kheira for the Polaris Welterweight title at Polaris 8, however, a leg infection forced him out of the match, meaning Lachlan Giles got the opportunity to step up.
However, Vagner’s incredible performance at Polaris 8, where he won an amazing match against legendary MMA fighter Benson Henderson, means he did enough to be put in the running for the Welterweight title.
This is a real clash of styles, Ross, who favours the butterfly guard and leg lock game, will be going up against someone who really enjoys passing and submitting from the back.
This is going to be another face paced match, a pace which is normally dictated by Rocha, but if Nichols can match and surpass that pace then we have a match on our hands’ ladies and gentlemen.
Ffion Davies vs Gezary Matuda – NoGi Lightweight (55 kg) Title Match
Our second huge match of the night is the long-awaited 55kg title fight between Wales’ Ffion Davies against the formidable Gezart Matuda.
Both competitors have had their fair share of success on the grappling circuit, Matuda, who is a multiple time world champion, is favourite on paper, however, Davies’ black belt record is nothing to laugh at.
Once again, this is a heavy clash of styles, where Ffion enjoys a heavy, slow pressure game, and Gezary plays a high energy style of Jiu-Jitsu. If Ffion can get on top and look to pass, then be prepared for the crowd to erupt.
Jake Shields vs Rafael Lovato Jr – NoGi Catchweight (90.7 kg) Superfight
Our headline matchup will see MMA and Polaris veteran Jake Shields, go up against American grappling legend and current undefeated Bellator fighter Rafael Lovato Jr.
Jake, who is looking to come off a disastrous loss at Polaris 7, is looking to put is to RLJ, but he’s going to have a tough time. Rafael Lovato Jr’s accolades are just incredible.
Shields needs to work his wrestling and heavy top game if he has any chance of defeating Lovato, but either way, it’s great to see Rafael Lovato Jr take to the Polaris stage, and long may he stay.
Polaris 9 Prelims
When it comes to Prelims, a lot of the time they will be more exciting than the actual main card. Full of hungry British grapplers, these fighters are out to make a name for themselves. This prelim event sees Polaris veterans and newbies go up against each other, expect high pace matches and high energy from hungry young bucks.
The highlight of the prelim card features two killers on the headline bout, Norway’s Tommy Langaker will go up against Sebastian Brosche, the guy who made it cool for burly grapplers to take up yoga. Langaker is known for his fast guard passing and relentless pressure, while Brosche is known for his hyper flexibility to unpassable guard, this is a great matchup and it’s great to see these two back on the Polaris scene.