One of jiu jitsu’s premier promotions, Polaris Professional, returns for Polaris 11 on August 31st in Manchester. Polaris has made a name for themselves by putting on competitive matches and getting some of the biggest names in the sport to compete. These include Bellator’s Dillon Danis and AJ Agazarm, UFC’s Urijah Faber as well as massive names in the grappling world.
Making History at Polaris 11
History will be made at Polaris 11 as it will be headlined by two female competitors for the first time. Champion Ffion Davies will take on tough Brazillian Talita Alencar for the under 55 kg strap.
Welsh fan favourite Davies, who became a black belt last year, has a number of big achievements in the sport already. Starting her martial arts career as a judoka, Davies won a IBJJF World No-Gi championship in 2018. To say that she’s in form is an understatement. This year she has claimed first place in the CBJJ Brazilian Nationals and the IBJJF European Open. Davies is 2-0 under the promotion with two finishes so is likely to rise to the occasion again.
Alencar will be making her Polaris debut at Polaris 11, but don’t expect the occasion to get to her. She captured the IBJJF Gi and No-Gi championships in 2017, as well as the Abu Dhabi World Pro Championship in 2017. Adding to her success in 2017, she also placed first at the Pan American’s. Alencar took time away from competing due to surgery, so hasn’t been as active as Davies, which could play a part in their upcoming championship bout.
Polaris 11 will also play host to a welterweight championship bout. Competing for the belt will be current champion Mansher Khera and former UFC fighter Vagner Rocha. Khera will be making his second appearance under the Polaris promotion having competed at Polaris 8. On this occasion, he competed against Lachlan Giles for the inaugural welterweight bout and came away with the decision victory over 15 minutes. Rocha will also be making his second appearance for the promotion. Rocha defeated England’s Ross Nicholls by split decision at Polaris 9 in March of this year.
Inaugural Heavyweight Title
The promotions first-ever heavyweight champion will be crowned at Polaris 11. Contested between PFL’s Satoshi Ishii and Roger Gracie black belt Arya Esfandmaz. Ishii is known to Polaris fans as he competed at Polaris 8, coming up short against Dan Strauss.
Holding a 6th Dan black belt in judo and a 22-8 professional MMA record, Ishii is no stranger to competition. Most recently, Ishii signed with the PFL and is taking part in their third regular season. In June he came away with a split decision victory in his promotional debut. Ishii has an extensive grappling background having competed under multiple different organisations including Quintet, IBJJF and of course, Polaris.
Esfandmaz is no stranger to Polaris either, having successfully competed at Polaris 9. At this event, Esfandmaz came away with an impressive bow and arrow choke victory over Jamie Hughes. Speaking on Instagram, Esfandmaz stated he used to watch Ishii compete when he was younger, but now has the opportunity to ‘rip his arm off’. In this exciting match of judo styles, this one promises to entertain fans.
Best of the rest
- Two of the most recognisable names within the UK MMA scene also face off at Polaris 11. UFC fighters Chris Fishgold and Marc Diakiese will put the cage behind them and focus on purely their BJJ games for this one. Fishgold is 2-1 since entering the UFC but is a solid BJJ black belt with an impressive 13 of his 18 wins coming via submission. Diakiese is known for his flashy stand-up with only one submission on his professional MMA record. He will be looking to improve his ground game in what promises to be an enthralling match.
- One of SBG’s most promising grapplers Kieran Davern returns at Polaris 11. With a record of 1-1 under the promotion, Davern will be looking to bounce back after his split decision loss at Polaris 8. His opponent at Polaris 11 will be rising star Fred Greenall. Although relatively unknown within the world scene, Greenall became the IBJJF Purple belt super heavyweight European champion in 2015. He will be making his debut for Polaris in Manchester and will be looking to make a name for himself on this well-known platform.
- British black belt Ben Dyson will take on grappling phenom Nick Rodriguez at Polaris 11. Rodriguez qualified for ADCC this year and has also picked up a number of other notable wins, including an impressive showing at Polaris 10. Dyson is no joke either, having himself qualified for ADCC through the European leg of trials.
Polaris 11 will be broadcast live from Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on August 31st. You can catch all the action live on UFC Fight Pass!