Another fantastic match has been added to the main card of Polaris 17, and this will be the second to feature a championship belt on the line. However, nobody will be defending a belt they've already earned as this will mark the very first time that the Women's Openweight Championship will be up for grabs. The match in question sees California native Kendall Reusing facing off with Finland's own Venla Luukkonen, both of whom have established themselves as among the very best competitors on the planet at the heavier weightclasses. Reusing in particular has had a huge amount of success on the competition circuit, closing out the finals of the IBJJF world championship in both her weight and the absolute division with her teammate Jessica Flowers in her very first year as a black belt in 2019. Having spent time training with the USA national wrestling team, Reusing has phenomenal standing grappling and is a force to be reckoned with from top position. Most recently, she came home with a gold medal at the IBJJF pan-ams earlier this year. Luukkonen will not be an easy match for Reusing however as she has a significant edge in experience, having competed at...
The Polaris 17 undercard is growing quickly as three more matches between talented up-and-coming grapplers have been added. First up is a match between two exciting women making their Polaris debut, Nia Blackman and Abbie O'Toole. Blackman is a BJJ blue belt fighting out of Checkmat who recently won the IBJJF European Open at her belt level, while O'Toole is a Roger Gracie Academy purple belt who previously took UFC competitor Molly McCann to a decision, narrowly losing in the judge's eyes. Later on in the evening Nathan Kay, brown belt under Ross Nicholls at London Grapple, will be facing off against Max Corteggiano, a black belt travelling all the way from Paris to compete on the Polaris stage. The final new prelim added to Polaris 17 will see one of the toughest competitors on the UK scene make his return, Elements Martial Arts instructor and black belt Yousuf Nabi. He will be meeting Daniel Pacan, a recently-promoted black belt under the legendary competitor Jeff 'Ippon' Lawson who will no doubt be eager to impress on his first Polaris appearance.
The main card for Polaris 17 has almost finished taking shape as the fourth match has been announced. Returning from his breakout performance at Polaris Squads 3 is Jed Hue, who will be welcoming Brazilian Fight Factory's Kody Steele to the UK for the very first time in what promises to be an action-packed match. As a Combat Jiu-Jitsu world champion with several victories over elite grapplers, Steele represents a huge opportunity for Hue to make a name for himself with a strong performance. Alongside the main card, the first preliminary match has also been announced and it features two men who came out on the winning side of their respective preliminary matches on the undercard of Polaris Squads 3. Both Ollie Bates and Jack Sear were given the opportunity to compete at the last event as a result of the New Bloods program and they're both colored belts training under Polaris veterans. Bates is a purple belt under 'the Yorkshire Gripper' Lloyd Cooper, whereas Sear is a brown belt training at London Grapple with head coach Ross Nicholls, and both men will be looking to impress the crowd with a finish.
The Polaris 17 main card is starting to take shape after the initial announcement that the main event will feature the Australian phenom Craig Jones defending his Middleweight title. Now he will be joined by another elite grappler who has spent a lot of time training under John Danaher, recently-promoted black belt Robert Degle. He will be facing off against former Polaris Squads Europe representative Kamil Wilk in a battle between two elite leglockers who are both able to switch focus and attack the upper-body without a moment's hesitation. This should lead to an incredibly exciting match that really could go either way as both men will be hunting for the finish at a relentless pace. In the second match announced for the main card, another Polaris Squads Europe team-member Mateusz Szecinski will be returning to the UK to compete. He will be coming up against East Coast Jiu-Jitsu competitor Ellis Younger who will also be making his second appearance on the Polaris stage after being called up on short-notice to represent Team UK & Ireland at Polaris Squads 3.
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.
The preliminary card for Polaris Squads 3 can now be revealed as the hard work of the New Blood initiative has come to fruition! The net was widened just recently as we opened the casting call for the prelims to the general public and allowed anyone to throw their hat into the ring and apply for the opportunity to compete on the event. After sifting through hundreds of applications and reviewing hours of highlight-reel footage, we've narrowed down the applicants to six and matched them up against one another to create three prelim matches. The first match will feature Jack Sear, one of the training partners of Ross Nicholls who will also be representing Team UK & Ireland later in the night, and he will be taking on Ireland's Ciaran Brohan. Shortly afterward, a high-level Roger Gracie Academy prospect Walli Abdullah will be taking on one of Polaris fan-favorite "the Yorkshire Gripper" Lloyd Cooper's most promising students in Ollie Bates. The final match will then feature the youngest competitor of the night as the talented 17 year-old Libby Genge is taking on a veteran of the UK MMA scene and BJJ purple belt, Bryony Tyrell.
As is becoming tradition with Polaris Squads, there will be a headline superfight at Polaris Squads 3 that will take place during the half-time break of the event. The first two events featured truly memorable performances as Ffion Davies put on a flawless display in submitting Magdalena Loska at the first, and Ashley Williams became the first ever triple-champion by defeating Tom Halpin in a tough match in the second. This time around we will get to see the return of the Polaris UK Grand Prix champion, Freddie Vosgrone, and in keeping with the Team UK & Ireland v Team USA theme of the event, he will be taking on the BJJ Fanatics Grand Prix champion, 10th Planet's Kyle Boehm. Vosgrone is undefeated on the Polaris mats and has steadily increased the level of competition he has faced over the years, turning out phenomenal performances each and every time. At the same time, he's also been busy competing at the highest levels of the IBJJF circuit and making his successful professional MMA debut. Boehm on the other hand has had a lot of success in grand prix-style events and competing under EBI overtime rules, winning the Submission Underground grand prix...
With just a matter of weeks left until the return of Polaris Squads, there have been several changes to the lineups for both Team UK and Ireland, and Team USA. The only change to Team UK and Ireland has come in the under 75kg section where Polaris triple champion Ashley Williams has unfortunately ad to withdraw, but he has now been replaced by another British Polaris veteran in Jed Hue. The same weight bracket in Team USA has had both Edwin Najmi and one the youngest representative on either team, Kade Ruotolo withdraw. They first replacement there is one of the most exciting grapplers in the States and the younger brother of another Team USA representative, 10th Planet's Geo Martinez. Joining him will be Adam Benayoun, one of Ryan Hall's most successful black belts who will no doubt be eager to put on a great show as he gears up for the upcoming ADCC trials. The 95kg section of Team USA has also had two competitors forced to withdraw from the event as both William Tackett and Team Captain JT Torres will no longer be attending. Instead, Roberto Jimenez has stepped up and he will now be the representative for...