This weekend British-based jiu-jitsu promoters, Polaris will be putting together one of the most interesting tournaments of the weekend. The middleweight tournament will be held this Saturday, November 5th, 2022, in Southampton, England, but can be followed online via UFC FightPass.
The tournament has gathered a nice mix of nationalities and grappling styles with strong match-making which has been one of the strong points of the Polaris organization since its inception, so expect this to be a fun show to follow. Below is a short description of the athletes involved in the main card of the show.
POLARIS TOURNAMENT LINE-UP
JED HUE (UK)
One of the rising stars of the British circuit is Polaris veteran, Jed Hue of Elite Jiu-Jitsu, a Londoner with a strong leg-locking game and an aggressive guard. Hue has wins over Kody Steele, AJ Agazarm, Espen Mathiesen, and others, but is yet to earn a big trophy at the professional level. It will be interesting to see how far he can get against the bigger names of the tournament.
OWEN LIVESEY (UK)
Much like Hue, Owen is a big name in the local circuit waiting to make a dent at an international scale, but unlike Jed, Livesey’s strength lies in the stand-up game. The complete antithesis of the London-based athlete, Northener Owen is one of the top takedown artists in Europe, a characteristic that earned him a 2nd place at the ADCC Qualifiers this year.
Livesey will be the biggest man of the tournament and has the most impressive stand-up pedigree, having been a former Junior Team UK judo athlete and a Commonwealth judo champion. It is, however, on the floor that much of the Polaris action will take place, a spot where the Brit’s strength and speed have been valued assets, defensively, though his offense is yet to make a big breakthrough.
ROBERTO JIMENEZ (ECU)
Arguably the most fun grappler to watch compete on this show, Jimenez is a fireball of aggressive jiu-jitsu and a masterful back-taker. His Achilles heel is, pardon the pun, are his feet. Roberto’s biggest losses have come to footlockers and there are plenty of those in the tournament.
If Jimenez has improved on his footlocker defense, he can certainly make it all the way to the top, but that is a big if. Regardless of the result, keep your eyes on this young man when he competes this weekend as it is virtually impossible to see him in a boring match.
ALAN SANCHEZ (USA)
A late replacement for Nick Ronan is 10th Planet’s Sanchez, a very crafty competitor with a wealth of experience. Alan is a well-rounded grappler, but, undoubtedly his best work is done from his back, where he can use his triangles and armbars, as well as very solid leg-locking prowess.
Sanches has vast experience in submission-only and points-based events, so expect him to offer a serious challenge to his opponents.
OLIVER TAZA (CAN)
Despite being one of the smallest athletes on the card, Taza could very likely be seen as the tournament’s favorite. On paper, there are very few areas of the game where this young man can’t perform to the highest standard.
With solid takedowns, passing, guard defense, guard offense, and attacks from a varied set of angles, this Canadian is the most complete grappler on the card, technically speaking.
Oliver is also the most experienced competitor at this level and should be taken very seriously by the other contestants. Where Taza may lack is in the strength department, we will soon find out if that is too steep of a hill for him to climb.
HUNTER COLVIN (USA)
A veteran athlete at Polaris, Colvin is a big guy for this division and an experienced competitor who is competent in a wide range of positions. In the past, Hunter has run Hot and Cold, with solid wins swiftly followed by heavy defeats, but this year this young man has been competing much closer to his real potential, currently holding wins against other solid names such as David Garmo (submission), Sebastian Rodriguez (EBI overtime), and Mike Perez (sub).
MATEUSZ SZCZECINSKI (POL)
Arguably the dark horse of this race is Poland’s Mateusz, an athlete who has a win over Taza and Jed Hue’s instructor, Ross Nicholls, at the European ADCC Trials. Despite lacking in other areas of his game, Szczencinski is a straight ankle lock submission specialist with excellent guard retention, who can take anyone out with his leg-attacking game.
SHANE FISHMAN (CAN)
The athlete we know the least about, Fishman is a riddle to be unveiled at the Polaris tournament. In the little footage, we’ve seen of him in the past, he plays a unique game, with some resemblances to Eduardo Telles’s Octopus Guard. Fishman is entering the tournament via Polaris Qualifiers and therefore could be an interesting addition to the event.
ASHLEY WILLIAMS VS CARLOS CONDIT
A big size difference here could be made up by Ashley’s lengthier experience in grappling events and this particular ruleset.