A big weekend ahead for professional grappling with many interesting events on offer and the Polaris Invitational leading the band with another star-studded show. The 25th edition of the popular British promotion will hold an epic, epic, open weight Grand Prix, which will feature one of the most fun cards in recent memory. Polaris’ matchmakers should be as pleased with this line-up as grappling fans will be grateful for their work.
Leading the GP and most likely to get their hands on the U$D 30,000 cash prize on offer are ADCC champions Kaynan Duarte & Giancarlo Bodoni, the two competitors with the highest degree of no-gi accolades on the card. Duarte and Bodoni will be on opposite sides of the tournament brackets and will have a long road ahead to make it through to the final, nevertheless, if they do, this will be the second time they meet at the black belt level, with the first being a victory for Duarte 2 years ago at WNO by decision.
The Dark Horse in this race will likely be Izaak Michell. The Australian athlete has not competed much since his loss to Vagner Rocha at the ADCC tournament, with only one appearance at the AIGA event a few weeks ago, but his lack of competitive output this year should not stand in the way of his skillset. A well-rounded and skillful competitor with a lot to prove, the only question mark to Michell’s claim to the grand prize is his lack of experience at the highest level. We will find out if there is a gap between him and the top of the jiu-jitsu food chain this weekend.
Also on the mix is the current Polaris Middleweight champion, Roberto Jimenez. It is impossible not to like seeing this young man, in our opinion one of the most fun grapplers to follow on the professional circuit who’s worked extensively on one of his biggest technical gaps (foolock defense). If he manages to keep his opponents off his feet, he will pose a very real threat to the podium.
The Polaris 25 event will also feature a big superfight that will, undoubtedly, bring lots of eyes to the event. We are talking about the grappling match between former Commonwealth freestyle wrestling bronze medalist and professional MMA fighter Mike Grundy and former UFC champion, the Funk Master himself, Aljamain Sterling. Sterling made a career out of getting people’s backs and choking them out on the Octagon, so it should be very interesting to see him in a pure grappling contest against a decent-level competitor.
GRAND PRIX CHALLENGERS:
– Owen Livesey
– Marcin Maciulewicz (Contenders tournament champion)
– Mike grundy VS. Aljamain Sterling