Good news for fans of the traditional Polaris superfight format as we'll be returning to that for Polaris 17 on October 9th, just in time for the return of the Australian phenom Craig Jones. He'll be coming back to the UK to defend the Middleweight championship, one of two Polaris titles he owns, against an as yet unnamed contender. He won the Middleweight title all the way back at Polaris 6 with a lightning-quick heelhook finish against Jake Shields in just a little over a minute, and has since defended it against Matheus Lutes by earning a unanimous decision win. In between those victories, Jones also moved up in weight to fight for the inaugural Light-Heavyweight title against Keenan Cornelius and was awarded the split decision victory after an incredibly close match. Jones has only gotten better since those performances, reaching the peak of his career so far in 2019 when he won a silver medal at the ADCC world championships. He'll now be looking to improve his perfect record to 4-0 when he returns to the UK on October 9th for Polaris 17 at the Central Hall, Southampton and streamed live on UFC FightPass.
Both Team UK & Ireland and Team USA have had to make one final change to their lineups ahead of Polaris Squads 3 on August 7th. The man who was responsible for the match-winning point in the first Polaris Squads event against Team Europe, Tom Halpin, has had to withdraw from Team UK & Ireland and he has been swapped out with one of Darragh O'Connail's most recent black belts, Ellis Younger. On Team USA, one of their recent replacements, Mike Perez, has had to withdraw from the event and has been replaced by Combat Jiu Jitsu veteran Hunter Colvin. Not only will he be bringing plenty of high-level competitive experience to the team, but Colvin is also unique among both teams as an active MMA fighter who's still relatively early in his journey through the ranks. The full lineup for both teams is now as follows: Team UK and Ireland Under 75kg Jed HueRoss NichollsEllis YoungerDarragh O'Connail (Captain) Under 95kg Bradley HillDan StraussKieran DavernBen Dyson Team USA Under 75kg Geo Martinez (Co-Captain)Nathan OrchardNick RonanAdam Benayoun Under 95kg Roberto JimenezHunter ColvinRichie Martinez (Co-Captain)Jon Blank
There has been a few changes to the Team USA lineup over the last few weeks and now one more adjustment has been made as 10th Planet's PJ Barch has withdrawn from the event. Eddie Bravo's team have sent another one of their elite representatives to replace him though, as Nathan Orchard will be looking to impress alongside his 10th Planet teammates and USA co-captains, Geo and Richie Martinez. As a multiple-time Combat Jiu Jitsu world championships finalist and a six-time EBI invitational veteran, Orchard will be bringing some invaluable experience to Team USA. Elsewhere, the headline superfight has also had a change as Polaris fan-favorite and UK grand prix champion Freddie Vosgrone has had to withdraw from his match against another 10th Planet representative, Kyle Boehm, due to an injury suffered in training. Coming in to replace him is a veteran of the UK professional grappling scene, Nastasa Silviu Georgian. He's had plenty of experience on the Polaris mats already and although he might be the underdog against Boehm, Georgian is definitely capable of providing the upset and taking home the win.