It seems like only yesterday that the second Polaris Squads event was announced and already the full lineup for both Team UK and Team Europe is here. After the lineup for Team Europe was revealed, it was clear that it was going to take a truly special group of athletes to overcome them and these eight competitors might just have what it takes. There’s only man returning from the first Polaris Squads team as Bradley Hill weighs in for the under 95kg category again, and the group will this time make the walk to the mats without Irish representatives.
Joining Hill is another experienced Polaris competitor who will look to use his top-tier Judo skills to his advantage, Arya Esfandmaz. Sean Coates will also enter the heavier category and represents something of a dark horse as a man who’s had a lot of success on his journey through the colored belt divisions but has yet to make a big impact at the highest level. The final heavier competitor will be coming all the way from Glasgow as Marcos Nardini brings over two decades of BJJ experience and multiple IBJJF titles to the team.
Given that the second Polaris Squads event will follow the same rules and structure as the first, there are another four competitors representing Team UK in the 75kg category as well. This gives us the opportunity for something of a grudge match as Bryn Jenkins will make the walk for Team UK, while the man he last lost to on Polaris, Espen Mathiesen, will represent Team Europe. The young Tyrone Elliott will also potentially come up against an old foe in the form of Team Europe’s Leon Larman after the pair fought at the 2019 IBJJF Paris Open.
Chris Haueter black belt Adam Adshead will also join the team as one of the more experienced international competitors. The team will then be rounded out by an IBJJF European bronze medalist and Carlson Gracie representative, Sam Gibson. Things will no doubt be tough for Team UK as Team Europe appears to have the edge in high-level competitive experience, but the beauty of the Squads format means that anything can happen and predictions are not so easily made.
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 the gi version of the event.
The second Polaris Squads event where Team Europe take on Team UK in the gi will be streamed live on 7th November on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.