Time to get your Chrome-cast ready for the UFC Fight Pass app this Saturday as the Polaris invitational is making its comeback with the second edition of the Squads format, this time with the gi (hurray)!
The “Squads” is Polaris’ team x team event gathered plenty of interest in late September with its ruleset (more on that here) and its presentation of Team Europe x Team UK+IRE. The challenge was won by the Brits but this time around, Team Europe stocked up with some serious talent and the tables may very well be turned.
Saturday, November 7th, 2020
Although Polaris is presenting the second round of Europe x British Isles, the teams presented are almost completely renovated for this gi clash, with Bradley Hill (UK) and Tommi Pulkkanen (EU) being the only two competitors who were carried over from the previous event.
Captained by Esfandmaz, a two-time IBJJF European Open medalist and a black belt under Lucio Lagarto and Roger Gracie, team UK and Ireland will have in Arya and Bradley Hill its heaviest and most experienced athletes.
Although with good technicians in its squad, only Arya and Bradley are common faces on the international circuit at a pro-level, which many believe could result in a blood bath for the team. The strategy here should be to take team Europe’s top guns out in draws, by playing defense and trusting the two big men (Esfandmaz and Hill) gather points with a few submissions. A bold strategy we will be most interested in watching unfold.
– Arya Esfandmaz (captain)
– Marcos Nardini
– Bradley Hill
– Jamie Paxman
– Sam Gibson
– Tyrone Elliott
– Adam Adshead
– Bryn Jenkins
The key figures for team Europe will be Langaker (Norway) and Wardziński (Poland), who have placed the submission at the forefront of their games for quite some time, both being in the top percentile of submission artists in the sport.
The talent of team Europe does not stop with Tommy and Adam, the team also has European Open silver medalist Pedro “Paquito” (Portugal) and bronze medal Luca Anacoreta (Italy) in its ranks, two athletes well known for their forward-moving styles. Other elite squad members are outstanding guard players such as the talented Leon Larman (France), Max Lindblad (Sweden), Tommi Pulkkanen (Finald), and of course, berimbolo specialist Espen Mathiesen (Norway).
Great match between Wales and Ireland for the featherweight vacant title. Halpin is the more submission oriented athlete here, yet, expect Williams to be the favorite here. Ashley is a natural-born scrambler with a wealth of experience against leg-lockers and should do well against Halpin’s style. Nevertheless, expect a solid match between these two.