Last night in Southampton, England (UK), the top European grappling invitational, Polaris Professional, presented their newest format, the Grand Prix. Eight high level competitors battling for a $20,000 prize on a modified Polaris ruleset led to intense action, submissions and exciting matches.
The Polaris 22 Prelims started the event off with a bang. The first submission of the night coming from the only women’s match on the card, where Violet Xanthe beat her opponent Emily Eyles via Armbar submission. This is the first Polaris victory for the English purple belt, who couldn’t hide her emotions, showing us how much this victory meant to her.
Rising star, Owen Jones once again performed in exciting fashion with a charismatic walk-on and a flying armbar entry to match. Finishing the match in under a minute.
Rookie of the night goes to Nathan Johnstone, who matched up against Polaris veteran, Dominic Dillon. An aggressive Johnstone was able to snatch a quick toehold to win his Polaris debut, we’re excited to see the future for this young black belt prospect.
With the prelims getting the crowd nice and warmed up, it was time for the main event.
The Grand Prix
The new ruleset features a new points system, where a pass, sweep, mount, or back take would be worth one point. While submissions will immediately end a fight, there are no advantages or points awarded for attempted submissions. If the match ends in a draw then the winner will be decided by a judge’s decision.
The eight competitors were;
- Jed Hue – A standout Polaris veteran with a recent win over UFC fighter Paul Craig.
- Roberto Jiminez – An exciting grappler from Ecuador known for his intensity and exciting matches.
- Oven Livesey – Common wealth Judo medalist with huge throws that make the crowd wild.
- Hunter Colvin – Featured on team USA of the Polaris squads format, known for his heavy wrestling.
- Oliver Taza – Canadian grappler studying under John Danaher and team mate of Gordon Ryan.
- Alan Sanchez – 10th Planet grappler from San Mateo, California.
- Mateusz Szezecinski – Polaris veteran with an exciting and deadly foot lock game.
- Shane Fishman – Canadian grappler who secured his place by winning Polaris Contenders.
With $20,000 on the line and the chance to become the Grand Prix champion, last night’s event was an incredibly exciting affair.
All competitors were hunting the win with incredibly impressive performances. Standout moments included Hunter Colvin’s last-minute rear naked choke against Owen Livesey, Shane Fishman’s patented fishnet to back take technique, and Roberto Jiminez’s incredible escape from Hunter Colvin’s tight armbar.
The standout of the event though was Roberto Jiminez. The young Ecuadorian pride’s himself on being a natural competitor, who lives a clean, alkaline, plant-based diet, and showed that you don’t need performance-enhancing substances to be an exciting competitor.
After three incredibly intense matches against Shane Fishman, Hunter Colvin, and Jed Hue, Jiminez would go on to become the first international Grand Prix champion and secure the $20,000 grand prize. The full results are as follows –
Hunter Colvin def. Owen Livesey via submission (RNC)
Roberto Jimenez def. Shane Fishman via points (8 – 2)
Jed Hue def. Alan Sanchez via points (4 – 0)
Oliver Taza def. Mateusz Szczecinski via judge’s decision
Jed Hue def. Oliver Taza via points (1 – 0)
Roberto Jimenez def. Hunter Colvin via submission (Triangle)
Roberto Jimenez def. Jed Hue via Submission (Arm Triangle)
To break up the Grand Prix, we were also treated to a super fight between former UFC fighter Carlos Condit and current Polaris Triple title holder Ashley Williams.
The match started off with both competitors attempting takedowns with Condit having success with a well-timed shot. Both competitors exchanged heel hooks until they eventually separate.
Back on the feet, Williams was able to pull off his patented Arm-Drag which saw him enter into a leg entanglement with Condit. Here Ash was able to secure the heel hook and the win.
Overall another thrilling event for Europe’s top grappling invitational, showing how quickly new talent is rising to the top.