NOVEMBER 4, 2023, SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND, marked another edition of the Polaris Invitational. The event was set to crown the female open-weight title of the promotion while also featuring two UFC fighters on the card against well-known grappling talent, including Craig Jones, one of the most well-known athletes on the jiu-jitsu circuit.
Also on the card was a barn-burner of a match between two of the best middleweights in the jiu-jitsu scene, Oliver Taza and Tommy Langaker. A match well worth revisiting for any fans of fast-paced grappling.
Below is our report on the matches of the main card of the Polaris 26 grappling event.
– MARCIN MACIULEWICZ def. MAX BICKERTON via decision
A fantastic performance by the 23-year-old brown belt, Maciulewicz of Poland. Good sweeps, takedowns, and solid guard passing against Bickerton.
– OWEN JONES def. BART DUBBELDAM via decision
Jones appeared to be highly confident coming into this one, predicting a submission within the first minute of the match, but Bart proved to be tougher than the Brit expected.
Overall, Jones was the more aggressive of the two, getting in on the legs of Dubbeldam on a few occasions. Attacks were avoided fairly easily by the Dutch competitor.
– MOLLY MCCANN-PEARSON def. JULIA SCARDONE via armbar
Quick match between UFC’s McCann & Scardone. Although the two did exchange while standing, it was quick once it hit the mat.
We had mentioned in our preview that this clash had Match Of The Night potential and it did not disappoint. Absolutely blown away by these two and their display of heart and technique.
The match was non-stop action. Tommy got the better of Taza positionally, attacking the back and passing the guard of Taza and even mounting the New Wave talent. The Canadian, however, had the best submission attempt of the match in a crazy inside heel hook from the saddle which appeared to have turned Langaker’s knee ligaments twisted like a corkscrew for the best part of a minute. Gnarly, nevertheless, not enough to win him the decision.
FEMALE OPEN WEIGHT TITLE MATCH
– KENDALL REUSING def. LETICIA CARDOZO via decision
A very technical battle between the two athletes while standing with tons of hand fighting, Russian tie attempts, & front-headlocks. The referee ended up giving a stalling warning (unwarranted in our opinion, but understandable for a grappling event). On the kneeling reset, as per Polaris ruleset, Reusing was able to advance to the top position and from there it was all downhill for Cardozo.
From a top half-guard, Kendall put on great deal of pressure, attacking the neck of Leticia and passing the guard to mount. Unable to submit, but a dominant performance by the American to retain her open-weight Polaris title.
– CRAIG JONES def. GERALD MEERSCHAERT III via RNC
One of the biggest questions here was if Jones would be able to take down a UFC-caliber MMA fighter. In previous matches against MMA fighters, we’ve seen Craig pull guard, but that was not the case tonight.
Jones did not shy away from the takedown exchange and won it fairly easily. From the standing exchange, the Australian athlete could take Meerchaert’s back and from there, a quick finish by choke in about 1 minute. Solid work by the B-Team co-founder.
– Franck Takoudjou def. Archer Colaco via decision
– Jack Hassard def. Abraham Dannan via decision
– Justin Moore def. Matthew Fitz-James via katagatame
– Sam Crook def. Mike Parry via decision
– Kerry Isom def. Jade Barker via decision
– Dominic Dillon def. Claudio Brudny via choke
– Phil Harris def. Mark Phung via decision
– Nia Blackman def. Amanda Pamela Nicole via decision
– Luiz Finocchio def. Nathan Johnstone via decision