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Quintet 1 Results: Dan Strauss can’t beat Sakuraba, but Team Polaris takes title

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Quintet 1 featured 11 of 17 matches ending via submission.

MMA: The Ultimate Fighter-Johnson vs Fortuna
Kazushi Sakuraba and many other big names came out for Quintet 1.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As competitive grappling continues to build a foothold, it’s interesting to watch as organizations attempt new twist on formats. Quintet 1 launched its debut event on Wednesday and brought forth the idea of team survival to the sport. The result was an entertaining event featuring some prominent names in Judo, Sambo, catch wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Aggression is the name of the game in Quintet and the first event featured much of that. The Polaris Dream Team walked out with the victory and much of that was built on the aggression of Craig Jones and Dan Strauss.

The finals featured the Polaris Team, which also included Gregor Gracie, Caol Uno and Marcin Held up against the Haleo Dream Team made up of Josh Barnett, Marcos de Souza, Daisuke Nakamura, Hideo Tokoro and event founder, Kazushi Sakuraba.

This matchup in the finals created some intriguing pairings in grappling styles and strategies. Barnett and Gracie faced off first but were unable to get the finish; ending in a draw. Strauss used his crushing power to submit Nakamura first, before facing off against Tokoro. The smaller Tokoro faced a massive weight difference and he attempted to use his speed early. But it would be Strauss who would catch him with a mounted guillotine that put the Haleo team member on Dream Street for quite some time. Strauss then faced off against the veteran in Sakuraba and the two were able to cancel each other out; forcing them both back to the sidelines due to them not garnering a conclusive finish.

That would pit Uno versus the final member of Team Haleo, Souza in the next bout. After an injury timeout, Souza picked up the pace and submitted Uno with a tight armbar. That brought out Jones as the fourth member of Team Polaris and it would be Jones who would get the victory for his team with a tight knee bar.

While there are some areas in which Quintet could improve for future events, the inaugural showcase was an enjoyable outing for competitive grappling. As the organization continues to add teams and feature events, this is one format that brings in a breath of fresh air to the realm of competitive grappling.