Polaris 26 is scheduled for November 4th, 2023 and Craig Jones will be competing against UFC middleweight veteran Gerald Meerschaert at the event. Jones has competed on the Polaris mats multiple times over the years and is the promotion’s reigning light-heavyweight champion and although Meerschaert is far more well known for his extensive MMA career, he has some experience in grappling competition too. In fact, Meerschaert stepped in to the main event of Fury Pro Grappling 7 earlier this year and gave a good account of himself despite dropping a decision.
Jones is obviously far more experienced in professional grappling than Meerschaert and has been a Polaris champion since the promotion’s earliest days. He won the inaugural middleweight title first, by beating Jake Shields all the way back in 2018 at Polaris 6. The next time he competed for the promotion was at Polaris 8 and this time it was against Keenan Cornelius for the inaugural light-heavyweight title. That was when he became the promotion’s first double champion, before going on to successfully defend the middleweight title against Matheus Lutes at Polaris 10 and against Davi Ramos at Polaris 17.
Since moving up to 99kg division for ADCC 2022, Jones has decided to vacate the Polaris middleweight title and only the light-heavyweight title remains in his grasp. Gerald Meerschaert on the other hand has been a UFC fighter since long before Craig Jones ever made his Polaris debut. Meerschaert made his promotional debut with a 25-8 professional MMA record in 2016 and has since managed to record several ‘Performance of the Night’ finishes, improving his career record to 35-17 in the process. He has fought several of the top middleweight competitors in that time and his 9 submission finishes stands as the record in the division.
Polaris announced that Polaris 26 would feature Craig Jones v Gerald Meerschaert in a recent post to their official Instagram account: