The final three matches have been added to the Polaris 21 card and two of them will feature the finalists of the Polaris Contenders competition that took place at BJJ Summer Week. Polaris Contenders featured both a men's and women's division, with both seeing a number of exciting matches throughout the course of the tournament. In the end, Danielle Tighe and Darina Goldin made it to the very top of the women's division while Sven Groten and Samuel Karas did the same in the men's division. Alongside these two matches, another match has been added to headline the preliminary card. One of the brightest young prospects from the B-Team, Kaya Rudolph, will be taking on Polaris veteran Jed Hue's protege, Francesco Bartolotta.
Ashley Bendle has just gotten one of the biggest opportunities of her career so far, as she's been called up to replace Ffion Davies against Michelle Nicolini. Bendle has accepted the match on just a week's notice, and she will now be headlining Polaris 21 and fighting for the inaugural under 60kg title against one of the best female grapplers of the past decade. Bendle is relatively new to the Polaris mats after making her debut at Polaris 18 and she's split results since then. Nicolini meanwhile has been at the very top of the game since 2006, winning eight IBJJF gi world championships, four IBJJF no gi world championships, and an ADCC world championship since then. Nicolini is an IBJJF Hall of Famer and an MMA veteran who would represent a tough challenge for almost anyone, but Bendle is a fantastic prospect who will be eager to make a statement with a big win here.
Polaris 21 is fast-approaching and the main card is now complete as the last two matches can now be revealed. First up is a match involving a veteran BJJ and MMA competitor in Leigh Remedios. He will be eager to get back in the win column after getting caught with a straight armlock in his Polaris debut against Caol Uno back at Polaris 21. Remedios comes up against Nick 'The Tooth' Gullo, who MMA fans will likely recognise from 'Dana White's Looking For a Fight'. Gullo isn't just a combat sports personality though, as he's a long-time BJJ practitioner and has even won an IBJJF world championship at brown belt in a masters division. The final match added to the Polaris 21 card includes one of the most popular grapplers to make his name on our mats. Jed Hue has four wins in single matches and six draws in the Polaris Squads format, making him one of the most experienced Polaris competitors around. He will be facing a fourteen-fight UFC veteran who's known for winning fights with the use of his phenomenal Jiu-Jitsu game, Paul Craig.
The preliminary card for Polaris 21 will feature some of the best rising talent on the European grappling scene, and all six matches can now be revealed. First up is a battle between two Italian BJJ black belts in Christiano Troisi and Manuel Pilato, followed by top UK talent Shane Curtis taking on another Italian grappler making his Polaris debut, Alberto Buriasco. London Grapple brown belt Steffano Sanna is up next and he will be facing off with a brown belt under Roger Gracie, Matteo 'Pereba' Bittichesu. Professional MMA fighter Khadim Dia will also be stepping on to the Polaris mats for the very first time as he takes on BJJ brown belt Matteo Vermiglio. Two experienced competitors will be facing one another later on in the preliminary card for Polaris 21, as BJJ black belt Fabio Pititto takes on an MMA fighter and veteran wrestler in Davide Martinez, from Sardinia. To round out the preliminary card there will also be a match between two up-and-coming talents from Italy, Alessio Salis and Loris Zanolini.
Another two matches have just been added to the lineup for Polaris 21: Grapple Island, and both of them will feature some of the best grapplers from around Europe. The first match added will see one of the top Berimbolo experts in the continent facing off against Italy's top BJJ athlete. Espen Mathiesen is known for his elite-level back-taking game and he's already shown it off on the Polaris mats with his stellar performance at Polaris Squads 2. Since then he's also gone on to win an IBJJF European Championship, something that his Squads teammate-turned-opponent Luca Anacoreta has also done himself twice before. The second match added to Grapple Island is a battle between two legends of the sport. Tom Barlow has been a black belt for over a decade now and still competes regularly, although Polaris fans will also recognise him as a regular commentator. He will be facing an incredibly tough challenge for anyone in the form of Robson Moura, a five-time IBJJF world champion who's first title came all the way back in 1997.
Polaris 21: Grapple Island is fast approaching and so far every single match will be featuring a veteran of the 2019 ADCC world championships. The first match to be announced as joining the lineup is one between one of the top talents that the UK has to offer, Ross Nicholls, and Brazil's Marcelo Fausto. Nicholls has beaten some of the best grapplers around and managed to make it all the way to the final of the Polaris UK Grand Prix, while Fausto is an exciting talent who was part of the Brazilian team that emerged victorious at Polaris Squads 4. Alongside this matchup, Tom Halpin will be returning to the Polaris stage for the first time since he challenged Ashley Williams for the Polaris featherweight title. His opponent is one of the most interesting talents fighting out of Italy, Alessio Sachetti, who is currently a brown belt in BJJ and has been dominating his country's competition scene for quite some time. Both Sachetti and Fausto have huge opportunities in front of them to add a big name to their resume, while Halpin and Nicholls will have a stiff challenge to overcome.
Another match has been added to Polaris 21: Grapple Island in the beautiful location of Cagliari, Sardinia and this one will see a clash between the US and the UK. Josh Hinger is one of the most successful no gi competitors to ever come out of ATOS as a three-time IBJJF no gi world champion. Hinger is also a veteran of the ADCC world championships after winning a spot at the event by taking home gold from the 2019 West Coast trials. He went on to finish third in a tough division at ADCC 2019 and as a result of the bronze medal, he's also been invited back to compete again at ADCC 2022. He will be meeting one of the top prospects in the UK, Owen Livesey. While he is relatively new to BJJ, especially compared to his opponent who has been competing as a black belt since 2014, Livesey is a truly formidable opponent. Livesey is actually a Judoka first, winning a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games before making his transition over to Jiu-Jitsu and quickly establishing himself as one of the top UK competitors. He will no doubt be looking to use his phenomenal standing...
The first match for Polaris 21: Grapple Island is here and this one is guaranteed to produce fireworks. Ffion Davies is the reigning under 55kg world champion and she will be facing off with one of the most successful female athletes in the history of BJJ, Michelle Nicolini. Nicolini has won the second-most IBJJF world titles ever with an incredible eight gold medals to her name, only two behind Beatriz Mesquita. She's also won four IBJJF no gi world titles and has managed to reach the podium at the ADCC world championships on four separate occasions, with one of them being a gold medal. Nicolini has beaten virtually everyone there is to beat in female BJJ and has even embarked upon a professional MMA career over the years as well, amassing a respectable 6-3 record and challenging for the ONE Championship Strawweight title. She won't have an easy time on September 24th however, as Ffion Davies has quickly established herself as one of the most formidable female grapplers on the planet over the last few years. Not only is she a Polaris champion, but she's also the first British person to win an IBJJF world title both in the gi...
Polaris is expanding and for our 21st event, we will be putting on a show outside of the UK for the very first time with 'Grapple Island'. The promotion will be making the trip to the beautiful island of Sardinia on Saturday, 24th September. The event will be held on that night in Cagliari, in conjunction with BJJ Summer Week. They are a world-leading BJJ training camp organization that regularly holds seminars with elite athletes and coaches alike. For the very first time, Polaris will be staging an event to cap off a fantastic week of training for those in attendance. The tickets for Polaris 21: Grapple Island will be available to purchase for all members of the public regardless, but attendees of the BJJ Summer Week will be first in line for discounted tickets.
Team Brazil is now complete as Isaque Bahiense and Marcelo Fausto join their teammates in representing their country at Polaris 20. Bahiense is one of the more experienced competitors to join Team Brazil, and he will be weighing in at under 95kg. He's a black belt under the legendary Fabio Gurgel and he owns several impressive wins over elite competitors like Davi Ramos, JT Torres and Lucas 'Hulk' Barbosa. Bahiense reached the highest point of his career in 2018 when he won an IBJJF world championship but was most recently seen emerging victorious at the ADCC South American trials. Fausto represents the opposite end of the scale as the young competitor has only been a black belt for a little over a year. He won several major IBJJF tournaments during his journey through the coloured belt divisions and is looking like one of the most promising young prospects from Brazil. He hasn't managed to compete much at black belt yet, but already owns a win over Polaris triple champion Ashley Williams from earlier this year.