With Polaris 26 fast approaching, the preliminary card has just started to fill out with the first four matches taking shape. The first one features a pair of Polaris veterans, Dominic Dillon and Claudio Brudny, facing each other in what will almost certainly be an exciting match where both men will be hunting for the finish. They aren't the only men with Polaris experience on the preliminary card either, as Nathan Johnstone is a fan favorite who always guarantees excitement. he will be making his return to the Polaris mats in a tough matchup against top European competitor Luiz Finocchio. Along with experienced veterans, there are some top UK prospects who will also be competing at Polaris 26. Jack Hassard has a number of big wins on the regional grappling circuit and he'll get his first shot on a major promotion against Abraham Dannan, a tough grappler under the wing of Owen Livesey. Nia Blackman has emerged as one of the top female talents in the UK over the last few years, and Amanda Pamela Nicole will be making the journey over from Ireland to challenge her.
Polaris 26 is fast approaching and another two matches have been added to the lineup, featuring three men who have won ADCC Trials in the past. Owen Jones catapulted himself to the top of the sport earlier this year when he managed to upset several big names at the ADCC European Trials and win the 66kg division. An exciting young competitor who has only just started his career at the highest level, he will be facing Polaris Contenders winner Bart Dubbeldam. Although he has a little more experience against elite competitors, Dubbeldam is also a relatively fresh talent who is known for his exciting style. The second match added to Polaris 26 is a battle between two men who have already competed at the ADCC world championship. Oliver Taza won the ADCC European Trials in 2017 and 2021 while Tommy Langaker won in the same continent in 2022, with both of them competing at 77kg. Taza is a New Wave Jiu-Jitsu representative with several gold medals from major IBJJF no gi events and podium placements at multiple other Trials events. Langaker has medalled at multiple major IBJJF gi events, including the IBJJF World Championship, and is a Polaris fan-favorite.
Polaris openweight champion Kendall Reusing will be making her return to professional grappling competition at Polaris 26 on 4th November, 2023. Reusing has not competed for over a year, as she suffered a knee injury during her semi-final match at ADCC 2022. Prior to that Reusing was an IBJJF No Gi World Champion and No Gi Pan Champion, and she won her place at the ADCC World Championship by winning the North American Trials. She has been the inaugural women's openweight champion since Polaris 17 in 2021 and has already successfully defended her title against Amanda Leve at Polaris 19. Reusing isn't taking an easy match in her return to competition as she will be defending her title against Leticia Cardozo. While she has been a top prospect during her rise through the colored belt ranks, Cardozo was only recently promoted to black belt. She has already established herself as a top competitor though, as she won the super-heavyweight division of the IBJJF No Gi World Championship in 2022. Reusing will be looking to reaffirm her place at the top of the division upon her return, while Cardozo has the opportunity to add a huge name to her resume.
Polaris 26 is scheduled for 4th November, 2023 at Southampton Central Hall and one of our champions will be making his return to the mats. Craig Jones is the reigning Polaris light-heavyweight champion and was previously the middleweight champion before he vacated the title to move up in weight permanently. Jones is often referred to as the second-best grappler in the world and he's definitely earned that title over the years. He reached the podium at ADCC 2019 and ADCC 2022, earning silver medals in the under 88kg and under 99kg divisions respectively. His opponent is a UFC veteran who is known for his fantastic grappling ability. Gerald Meerschaert has had over 50 professional MMA fights and has been signed to the UFC since 2016, fighting the best middleweights on the planet since then. Meerschaert has a 35-17 MMA record with an astonishing 27 submission wins to his name, and he currently holds the record for most submission wins in the UFC middleweight division. He will be a fresh opponent and a tough challenge for Jones as he makes his return to the United Kingdom and the Polaris mats.