Polaris Squads was a huge gamble for Matt Benyon and Co, but the future looks bright after their first event in this format was a resounding success. The organization normally puts on a traditional fight night event with one unrelated match after the next with ten-minute rounds for the undercard and fifteen for the card. Instead, Polaris decided to make a huge change for their fourteenth event by booking two teams of eight grapplers who would compete in a winner-stays-on format over a total period of eighty minutes with each submission being worth a set amount of points for the team.
There was only one traditional superfight on the entire card, an exciting matchup between Ffion Davies and Magdalena Loska that followed the existing Polaris rules, in order to give the two teams a break halfway through their epic match. The first team chosen for the event made perfect sense given that Polaris is a UK-based promotion, the organizers put together a fantastic team to represent UK and Ireland including Combat Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Tom Halpin, Polaris Double Champion Ashley Williams, and the man at the forefront of Irish grappling, Darragh O’Connail, as Team Captain.
The opposing team were there to represent the rest of Europe and were equally well-qualified with UFC and Bellator veteran Marcin Held, one of the best brown belts in the world in Tarik Hopstock, and Eduardo “Teta” Rios as Team Captain. After plenty of positive feedback about the event, the Polaris team made an announcement on their official Instagram account that the format will continue in the future, but what teams will be up next for the promotion?
There’s no end of teams that could get the Polaris Squads treatment in the future, including the possibility for breaking down Team UK & Ireland into it’s four separate entities of Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland. But rather than going smaller, it only makes sense to go bigger from here and what could possibly be bigger for BJJ than Team Brazil v Team USA? Or, if Polaris wanted to give the victors from their first event another run out, why not match Team UK & Ireland up with Team Australia?
Team Brazil has literally no end of athletes to choose from, but Matheus Diniz and Manuel Ribamar would be fantastic representatives for the higher weight-class. The lower weight-class has even more talent to choose from but after Kennedy Maciel’s phenomenal recent performances, he’d be the number one pick and either of the Miyao brothers would make for a great Team Captain. Team USA have also got plenty of choice but a reappearance on the Polaris stage by Nicky Rodriguez or his old foe Luke Rockhold would be a fantastic start. Then two great ADCC competitors for the lighter weights would be Vagner Rocha and JT Torres, either one being the Team Captain.
If the promotion decided to go with Team Australia, Lachlan Giles and Craig Jones are a no-brainer. Kit Dale could join Jones in the heavier class while Giles could make the journey with the up-and-coming Levi Jones-Leary. Regardless of which way Polaris decide to go with their next squads event, the end-result should still be another hour and a half of non-stop action and the endless possible combinations make for some interesting discussion!
The full play-by-play and live results for the first Polaris Squads can be found here, and we’ll be on hand to deliver the same for every future event.