On a Saturday that’s heavy for high level, no-gi competition, Polaris was up first as they presented Polaris 6 live from the O2 Arena. A number of big names were present up and down this card, but the anticipation for the main event contest between Jake Shields and Craig Jones topped them all. Ben Henderson was also present to take on well-known Jiu Jitsu competitor, AJ Agazarm in the co-main event.
Shields and Jones were the main event contest to become the first middleweight champion of Polaris. Jones has been on a tear since his performance at ADCC, while Shields has racked up a number of victories in recent months, including defeating Jones’ fellow countrymen, Kit Dale, last week.
Jones’s didn’t need much time to claim that title though, as he submitted Shields in mere minutes. Shields based out on top very quick to start the match, but Jones elevated for enough space to create a leg entry and end up on top. From there it was a few adjustments before Jones would force Shields to tap; a rare occurrence in grappling or mixed martial arts.
“Craig is one of the best out there. I made a mistake. He capitalized and tapped me,” Shields said. “Hopefully I’ll get another shot. He’s a guy I respect a lot. Great set up and great submission.”
“I’ve been watching this guy for years. He’s impossible to tap,” Jones said with the title around his waist. “It worked out in my favor. Hat’s off to Jake, he’s a legend.”
The co-main event brought out Henderson and Agazarm for a rematch. They faced off at Fight to Win Pro 37 where Henderson got the win via decision. This was easily the most exciting bout on the card and had the fans in attendance chanting from start to finish.
Things were heated from the very start as Henderson shot a double leg close to the sideline and drove Agazarm right off the mat; sending both competitors and the referee crashing to the floor. All three men quickly composed themselves and got back on the mat where the action looked much like a wrestling competition on the feet.
After a few attempts to crack Henderson’s defense on the feet, Agazarm pulled guard in the middle of the mat. Henderson tried to smash through Agazarm’s guard but AJ found a way to invert to defend. Both men would dive on each other’s legs and begin to attack.
Neither competitor would find an advantage, but back on the feet Henderson hit another big double leg and drove Agazarm off the mat a second time. Agazarm would return the favor and jumped into Henderson’s guard who locked up a tight choke, threatening Agazarm’s neck.
Another scramble on the feet allowed Henderson to step over and attack an omoplata and Agazarm’s neck at the same time. Agazarm fought through and attacked a close arm bar but Henderson got out and went after another unsuccessful foot attack. They continued to exchange positions until the final whistle. Henderson would win via a decision.
“I did this for you guys, to come and entertain you guys,” Henderson said. “The new AJ, we all know it’s an act. He does it OK. Even though he may lose, lose and lose and lose. But you have to back it up on the mat.”
Agazarm would ask “You guys think I lost that?” To which the crowd responded “YES!” “I went up 14 kilos for this match, but I’ll say this was a very close decision.”
Ffion Davies and Gezary Matuda are set to face off in a future bout for the women’s 55 kilogram title as both were victorious in their title eliminators.
Matuda defeated Serena Gabrielli with a straight ankle lock early in there bout while Davies defeated Chelsea Leah in the main card opener.
“It’s going to be an exciting match,” Matuda said. “I want the belt.”
Polaris 6 is available for replay on the UFC Fight Pass platform.
Polaris 6 Full Results
Craig Jones defeated Jake Shields via heel hook
Benson Henderson defeated AJ Agazarm via decision
Gezary Matuda defeated Serena Gabrielli via straight ankle lock
Marco Cahna defeated Ash Grimshaw via decision
Ffion Davies defeated Chelsea Leah via armbar
Ross Nicholls defeated Tommi Pulkkanen via heel hook
Oliver Lovell defeated Tiago Valente via choke
Tommy Langaker defeated Charlie McDonald via collar choke
Brad Hill defeated Santeri Lilus via decision
Sean McDonagh defeated Jay Butler via toe hold
Emilia Tuukkanen defeated Leoni Munslow via decision