Join us today (Saturday, 7th November) for live updates on Polaris Squads 2. The latest in team grappling innovation, Polaris Squads 2 features two teams of eight grapplers competing against each other in the gi this time and they will be representing Team Europe and Team UK. These sixteen men will come from both the under 75kg and under 95kg weight-classes and will all do battle over two forty-minute halves, the full rules for Polaris Squads can be found here. For those interested in taking a look back, the full play-by-play and live results from the first Polaris Squads can be found here. We also got an inside look on the buildup to the event with Team Europe competitor and Polish powerhouse, Adam Wardzinski.
Their will also be a superfight between two of the most exciting grapplers from the first event as Ashley Williams and Tom Halpin compete in the only no gi match on the card that represents a truly unique opportunity for the Welshman, Williams. As he is currently the Polaris Lightweight and Bantamweight Champion, this match will be his chance to add a third title to his collection and walk away with the Polaris Featherweight title. His opponent Halpin will be one of his toughest tests to date however as a Combat Jiu Jitsu World Champion and ADCC veteran.
Alongside this excellent Polaris superfight, the full lineup for both squads is as follows:
Team Europe Team UK
Espen Mathiesen Bryn Jenkins
Tommi Pulkkanen Adam Adshead
Leon Larman Tyrone Elliott
Dinu Bucalet Sam Gibson
Adam Wardzinski Arya Esfandmaz
Tommy Langaker Bradley Hill
Luca Anacoreta Jamie Paxman
Max Lindblad Marcos Nardini
Polaris Squads 2 First Half
Tommi Pulkkanen meets UK Team Captain Arya Esfandmaz in the center and both men sit to guard straight away. After some leg-pummeling, Pulkkanen attempts to stand and pass but is forced back down by Esfandmaz as he starts to get to work on a footlock. Pulkkanen catches a footlock of his own and starts to go belly-down but Esfandmaz stands to escape and gives him the room to try and invert underneath him. As they’re reset in the center, Esfandmaz settles into his opponent’s full guard and gets sucked in to a leg lasso for his troubles. Pulkkanen starts to work his way to worm guard but Esfandmaz breaks the grip, forcing him to switch to De La Riva and try the Caio Terra footlock. He comes up on top as Esfandmaz works for a footlock from Single Leg X and works his way free as the time runs out.
Tommi Pulkkanen v Arya Esfandmaz – Draw and Double-Elimination
Max Lindblad drives forward as soon as the match with Sam Gibson starts but Gibson pulls guard immediately. Lindblad starts to work a standing passing game but Gibson is switching between 50/50, X Guard and Single Leg X to off-balance his opponent very well. Gibson settles into 50/50 as Lindblad gets to work on a leg drag and smash past his legs. Lindblad starts slowly pressuring in and as Gibson tries to create space, he passes to side control and starts using the opposite lapel to control Gibson. Lindblad attempts a choke but doesn’t waste time when Gibson defends well, switching to a breadcutter choke and driving his forearm in as Gibson refuses to tap and escapes as the bell sounds.
Max Lindblad v Sam Gibson – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Bradley Hill goes for a footsweep immediately on Espen Mathiesen but Mathiesen defends and pulls guard soon after. Mathiesen immediately gets to work inverting and takes his opponent’s back beautifully, switching to attacking the Armbar soon after. Hill defends well and escapes to standing before threatening a quick Estima Lock. Hill seems to accept being swept by Mathiesen but is put under pressure with his speed-passing game. As Mathiesen starts to go for a leg drag, Hill counters with a kneebar attempt before dragging the leg over into 50/50 with lapel control. The pair roll from 50/50 and Mathiesen’s back is exposed for a moment, but he manages to prevent Hill from taking advantage of the window. Mathiesen makes a last-ditch attempt at a footlock, but there isn’t enough time left to make it work.
Espen Mathiesen v Bradley Hill – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Team Europe’s captain Tommy Langaker pulls guard immediately against Marcos Nardini and wastes no time in shooting his legs up for a Triangle Choke. Nardini stands and starts creating space but Langaker powers forward into the Mounted Triangle position. Nardini bucks and manages to get back on top but that just allows Langaker to cut the angle and tighten the choke to get the tap in under a minute.
Tommy Langaker Submits Marcos Nardini via Triangle Choke and Team Europe leads 1-0.
Bryn Jenkins shoots for a double leg immediately on Tommy Langaker and drives him off the mat within seconds. The pair are put back to the center and Jenkins’ aggressive wrestling forces another reset, but Langaker pulls guard on the third chance. Jenkins keeps a strong posture and although Langaker tries to go for an Omoplata, he steps over to stop the threat. As Jenkins back, Langaker stands immediately and goes for a knee-slice pass but Jenkins creates space to work a long-distance guard-game. Langaker passes low, goes under the leg to expose Jenkins’ back and sinks in both hooks quickly. Langaker works for a choke but Jenkins escapes, giving up the mounted triangle as he does so and Langaker switches to an Armbar. Langaker gets the full extension and forces the tap for his second straight victory.
Tommy Langaker Submits Bryn Jenkins via Armbar and Team Europe goes 2-0 up.
Langaker calls a time out and Team Europe switch him for Luca Anacoreta, who steps up against Jamie Paxman. Paxman pulls guard and tries to come up on a single-leg but Anacoreta sprawls hard and steps over to lock up a Reverse Triangle within seconds. Anacoreta stays calm and waits for the moment to drive his opponent over and he puts the squeeze on to force Paxman to tap.
Luca Anacoreta Submits Jamie Paxman via Reverse Triangle and Team Europe are ahead 3-0.
Tyrone Elliott pulls guard as soon as him and Anacoreta start, getting his opponent down to his knees with a sweep-attempt. Elliott is using a lapel grip to keep control of Anacoreta’s posture and manages to break him down to one hip, trying to take top position. Anacoreta goes for a Toehold and forces a reaction from Elliott so that he can prevent him from coming up to pass. The pair are engaging in a gritty battle but Anacoreta manages to get to his feet and immediately gets the leg drag pass. He passes to side control and manages to take Elliott’s back, switching to an Armbar and working hard to break his opponent’s grip as the time runs out.
Luca Anacoreta v Tyrone Elliot – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Adam Adshead and Leon Larman are the next to take the walk to the mats and Adshead pulls guard to start working on a footlock. Larman counters beautifully with a Berimbolo and exposes the back before taking mount instead. After working for grips for a moment, Larman takes advantage of Adshead bucking his hips and switches to take the back quickly. Larman takes the seatbelt grip and gets hold of a lapel to lock up a lightning-quick Collar Choke to finish.
Leon Larman Submits Adam Adshead via Collar Choke and Team Europe is now winning 4-0.
Sam Gibson is the first to fight twice for Team UK as both he and Larman pull guard immediately. Larman goes for a Berimbolo again and nearly falls victim to a counter-berimbolo from Gibson, but he inverts one more time and manages to slide through to the back with the second attempt. Larman sinks both hooks in as he’s already working for his opponent’s collar and repeats the exact same finish as his first match, but in even less time now.
Leon Larman Submits Sam Gibson via Collar Choke and Team Europe go 5-0 up.
Team Europe use their only other time-out to send out Adam Wardzinski, who replaces Larman to fight Arya Esfandmaz. Wardzinski pulls guard and within thirty seconds he’s already pulled off his signature Butterfly sweep to get on top of Esfandmaz in three-quarter mount. Wardzinski is crossfacing hard and uses his one leg to free the other and pass to full mount, grapevining his legs to keep Esfandmaz controlled. Wardzinski uses a strong lapel grip to start threatening with a choke from mount but Esfandmaz is defending well to stay alive. Wardzinski tries to move to S-mount and attempt an Armbar but Esfandmaz shuts that down as well and manages to survive the full round.
Adam Wardzinski v Arya Esfandmaz – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Tyrone Elliott jumps to guard against Dinu Bucalet in the first few seconds but Bucalet starts working for an Ezekiel choke from Elliott’s guard. Elliott takes a lapel grip and tries to use it to create distance but Bucalet has the Ezekiel incredibly deep and starts putting the pressure on as much as he can. Elliott holds out but within seconds the referee calls the fight as he’s been put to sleep while defending the choke.
Dinu Bucalet Submits Tyrone Elliott via Ezekiel Choke and Team Europe is leading 6-0.
Marcos Nardini steps up to take on Bucalet and pulls half-guard early. As Nardini gets a sweep and tries to come up, Bucalet defends and manages to come back up on top. As Nardini goes to closed guard, Bucalet pressures in to get to work on the Ezekiel choke again, but this Nardini is wise to it and off-balances his opponent. As Bucalet reacts and bases out, Nardini switches to an Armbar and forces his opponent to defend for the last minute of the first half.
Marcos Nardini v Dinu Bucalet – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Superfight: Ashley Williams v Tom Halpin
Halpin pulls guard straight away but Williams seems comfortable staying standing and working to pass. Halpin gets deep on a leg entanglement but Williams’ defense is phenomenal as he’s countering every elevation and rolling perfectly to make sure that Halpin can’t get a bite on the heel. The pair get reset to the center and Williams escapes and disengages fully but as soon as he re-engages to pass, Halpin manages to invert and work for a leg entanglement again. Halpin pushes forward to come up on top but Williams defends and returns to a standing passing game instead. As Williams steps over to pass, Halpin enters a leg entanglement again, working for a kneebar but Williams turns his leg to escape once again.
The pair are reset to the center again and Halpin stays seated as Williams tries to start working a knee-slice pass. Halpin elevates him though and prevents the pass by threatening the legs once more. As Williams disengages and starts to working to pass from a distance again, Halpin inverts tries to open him up for a Kneebar. Williams defends and uses a Kimura-grip to leap past his guard, trying to switch to an Armbar but Halpin manages to escape and return to playing guard. Williams tries to pass once more and this time snakes his arm through for a D’arce Choke, but Halpin defends and escapes again.
Halpin is starting to look visibly tired as Williams keeps up the pressure and starts working his knee-slice pass again. This time he drives through and settles into side control, using his leg to pin Halpin’s bicep to the mat and securing a deep crossface. Williams is using his head to work Halpin’s far arm up to his head and as Halpin turns toward it to defend, Williams steps over into full mount and keeps Halpin’s arm high up. Williams then starts trying to work for a Arm Triangle but Halpin is defending well and manages to free his arm. Williams switches to a Triangle Choke combined with an Americana on the trapped arm but the match ends as he wrenches on it.
Ashley Williams defeats Tom Halpin via Decision and becomes Polaris Featherweight Champion!
Polaris Squads 2 Second Half – Team Europe Leading 6-0
Bryn Jenkins is unable to compete so Europe are awarded an extra point and move to 7-0 as Sam Gibson and Tommy Langaker take to the mats. Langaker pulls guard and sweeps soon after with a collar and sleeve grip, quickly exposing Gibson’s back and taking mount as he defends. Gibson works hard to regain quarter-guard but Langaker passes back to side control soon after and uses a lapel grip to control him as he steps back into mount. Langaker gets a deep Cross-Collar Choke going and Gibson bucks to get back on top but Langaker still has the choke and secures the tap not long after.
Tommy Langaker Defeats Sam Gibson via Cross-Collar Choke and Team Europe are up 8-0.
Bradley Hill steps up against Langaker next and attempts a footsweep before pulling guard. Langaker steps through and nearly secures side control but Hill escapes quickly and stands, only for Langaker to get inches away from a sweep. Hill is pressure-passing really well and manages to blast knee-slice through but Langaker uses a foot to keep him at bay and inverts to force Hill to return to standing. As Hill engages, Langaker comes up on top and secure a leg-drag to pass into mount. Hill recovers quarter-guard and reverses position, disengaging and returning to standing-passing as the pair are reset to the center. Langaker sweeps Hill again and stops him from inverting to prevent the pass, exposing his back in the process and Hill stands to escape. Hill quickly jumps to guard and starts to work on a Kimura but a clash of heads opens a cut on Hill that he needs medical attention for. After a brief break to attend to the cut, the fight restarts and Hill quickly transitions to an Omoplata before the match ends.
Tommy Langaker v Bradley Hill – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Jamie Paxman pulls guard straight away against Espen Mathiesen and tries to get to a leg entanglement but Mathiesen starts to work a Berimbolo and take the back. Paxman defends and recovers 50/50 guard but Mathiesen pulls off a lovely pass, before Paxman recovers guard once more. Paxman tries to open up Mathiesen’s legs again but he counters with another Berimbolo and takes the back this time, switching to a Triangle from the back. This looks incredibly tight but Paxman pulls off a phenomenal escape and returns to 50/50, this time working for an Estima Lock but Mathiesen passes to Knee-on Belly quickly. Mathiesen locks up a Kimura and switches to an Armbar as Paxman defends, but he comes up on top and escapes this too. Mathiesen is working incredibly hard as he attempts a Triangle Choke and Paxman postures up hard to defend, with Mathiesen switching to an Armbar and the buzzer sounds shortly after Paxman launches one final escape.
Espen Mathiesen v Jamie Paxman – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Marcos Nardini and Max Lindblad face off and Nardini pulls guard straight away to enter 50/50, but Lindblad peels the leg off and backsteps to pass guard. Lindblad switches directions and backsteps again before knee-slicing through to side control. Nardini hits the reversal with perfect timing and is in Lindblad’s closed guard defending an Armbar, but stays low and pulls his arm free. Lindblad sweeps him shortly after and starts working from mount but again Nardini gets the reversal at the perfect moment. Lindblad is working Spider Guard now and as Nardini sits back, Lindblad jumps clean over his guard and starts to take the back. Nardini turtles but Lindblad breaks him down within seconds, sliding both hooks in and taking a lapel grip. Nardini defends the choke and Lindblad moves to mount instead before quickly switching to S-mount and attempting an Armbar, with Lindblad defending and reversing position to come up on top again with the time running out shortly after.
Max Lindblad v Marcos Nardini – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Tommi Pulkkanen and Adam Adshead meet in the center and both sit to guard straight away. Pulkkanen stands back up and Adshead transitions to X-Guard to off-balance him, but Pulkkanen sits back down and starts working on an Estima Lock that Adshead has to invert to escape. Pulkkanen reacts perfectly and inverts to take Adshead’s back, sinking both hooks in before switching to a bodylock. Adshead turns and manages to escape, but Pulkkanen switches to mount quickly, working to set up a Cross-Collar Choke. Adshead defends for a while before managing to recover guard, with Pulkkanen trying to use a lapel grip to control him and pass when he recognizes there are only seconds left so he dives on a footlock as the buzzer sounds.
Tommi Pulkkanen v Adam Adshead – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Arya Esfandmaz makes the walk eagerly for a rematch with Adam Wardzinski and both men pull guard straight away. Wardzinski comes up on top and tries to glide over into a knee-slice but Esfandmaz returns the favor from their earlier match and sweeps him with a Butterfly hook. Esfandmaz steps wide to try and finish the pass but can’t quit complete it as Wardzinski starts to set up Butterfly guard, with Esfandmaz staying low to prevent the sweep. Wardzinski elevates him and although it takes a little longer this time, he still finishes the Butterfly sweep and lands into three-quarter mount, passing to full mount within seconds. Wardzinski switches to side control as Esfandmaz bucks and with a lapel grip, he retakes the mount and manages to get an Americana attempt. The submission forces Esfandmaz to keep his arm high and Wardzinski moves to a deep Arm Triangle, but he can’t get the finish as Esfandmaz holds out and manages to scramble free with only seconds left in the match.
Adam Wardzinski v Arya Esfandmaz – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Leon Larman steps up against Tyrone Elliott and pulls guard, immediately inverting as Elliott goes low and taking the back beautifully. Larman has both hooks in and a seatbelt grip in under thirty seconds, switching his grip to the lapel and transition to a Bow and Arrow Choke to get the victory.
Leon Larman Defeats Tyrone Elliott via Bow and Arrow Choke and Team Europe is leading 9-0.
Sam Gibson comes up against Larman in a rematch from earlier tonight and pulls guard early, with Larman starting to work a double-under pass. Gibson shoots his legs up for a Triangle Choke but his opponent sits back and defends by locking his legs around his waist to create distance. They’re reset in the center with Larman staying seated this time and Gibson passes to half-guard quickly, but has to sit back in to 50/50 as Larman passes his leg over to the other side. Larman comes up on top and tries to pass but Gibson manages to threaten a sweep and stand to meet him, before Larman pulls guard and defends Gibson’s passes for the last thirty seconds.
Leon Larman v Sam Gibson – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Bradley Hill and Luca Anacoreta face off and Hill fakes a footsweep before pulling guard and getting to work with a lapel grip. Anacoreta breaks the grip and disengages on the edge of the mat, with them being reset to standing in the center. Anacoreta attempts a Sumi-Gaeshi but Hill drops low and forces him to switch to Single-Leg X instead, fighting to defend the leg drag. Anacoreta inverts to attempt a Kneebar but Hill counters and exposes his opponent’s back but can’t quite take advantage as Anacoreta slips free and settles into top position, taking side control. Anacoreta steps over into mount but the round ends shortly after.
Luca Anacoreta v Bradley Hill – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Arya Esfandmaz and Dinu Bucalet take to the mat for the final round as only twenty-six seconds are left. Both men are gripfighting at an incredible pace and Bucalet tries to Tomo-Nagae, but can’t quite get under the bigger man. Esfandmaz blows clean through Bucalet’s guard and as his opponent turns, he takes the back and sinks both hooks in, scrambling for a lapel grip and wrenching on the choke as the full eighty minutes ends.
Dinu Bucalet v Arya Esfandmaz – Draw and Double-Elimination.
Full Time – Team Europe Wins 9-0!
The event was an absolute whitewash with Europe dominating every single match and managing to come out with a total of eight submission finishes. Taking the back was the theme of the night as this was how the majority of the submissions were earned and the man of the match is essentially a toss-up between Leon Larman and Tommy Langaker. Both men submitted three of their opponents and delivered non-stop action in every match they took part in. With Polaris Squads 2 giving the fans even more highlights than the first event, it’s pretty safe to say that the promotion has hit solid gold with what is potentially the best team grappling formats available.
The full Polaris Squads 2 event will be streamed live and available for replay on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.