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Grappling Report: Polaris Squads is back, this time featuring Team USA

A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report
Bloody Elbow Grappling Report

Polaris broke new ground as a promotion in the latter half of 2020 when they debuted their unique format for a no gi team grappling competition between Europe and the UK & Ireland. The first Polaris Squads event was a resounding success and as a result, they wasted no time in booking the second edition before the end of the year. This time there was a complete change in lineup, owing primarily to the usage of gi this time around.

Now, Polaris Squads 3 is just on the horizon and although it will return to being a no gi competition, there is one big change moving forward. This time the USA will be represented on the mats as they take on Team UK & Ireland in a minimum of sixteen matches across two forty-minute halves. This will also mark the first time that a crowd will be in attendance which will no doubt add to the atmosphere for July 17th.

Both promotional titles are on the line at Submission Underground 21

Submission Underground is back in a big way at the end of March, with both of the promotion’s titles on the line at SUG 21. This will be the first time that the promotion has had two title-holders defending their belts as Amanda Loewen became the first female Absolute Champion back at SUG 19 by defeating Felicia Spencer, and she will meet UFC veteran Roxanne Modafferi on the mats at SUG 21.

The male Absolute Champion Mason Fowler will be defending his title in the headline match against one of 10th Planet’s biggest stars, Richie ‘Boogieman’ Martinez. Elsewhere on the card will be Olympic Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii v Andy Varela, and former Bellator World Champion Ilima Lei-MacFarlane v Jessica Eye. The event also sees the return of Tag-Team Jiu-Jitsu as Willie Audifre and Mike Currier take on Ricky Simon and John Simon.

Oliver Taza and Stanley Rosa register first heelhooks in IBJJF history

It hasn’t been all that long since the IBJJF decided to announce that they were going to legalise heelhooks and reaping the knee for brown and black belts, starting in 2021. The IBJJF Dallas Open represented the first competition of the year, and the first time that the organization’s new ruleset would be in place. Competitors wasted no time in taking full advantage of the new rules with three heelhooks happening in the same day.

Oliver Taza and Stanley Rosa both managed to register victories by heelhook on the day, with Rosa managing to finish two of his opponents with the technique. Both of the Renzo Gracie lineage black belts won a gold medal in their respective divisions, with it being the first time that Taza has competed since being being given the final belt promotion by his coach, John Danaher.

Both Kayla Harrison and Fabricio Werdum feature at PFL 3

PFL 3 will take place on May 6th and it features two of the most-skilled grapplers in MMA in their first fights of the current 2021 season. In the co-main event slot, two-time Olympic Judo Champion and undefeated MMA star Kayla Harrison will be returning to defend the Women’s Lightweight title that she earned last year against Mariana Morais, a veteran of the Brazilian regional scene with a 16-10 professional record.

The main event will then see the promotional debut of former UFC Heavyweight World Champion Fabricio Werdum as he makes his way towards claiming the million-dollar prize at the end of the season. He will be facing off against fellow PFL debutante Renan Ferreira, a Team Nogueira representative who hasn’t fought too often over his 7-year professional MMA career, amassing a 6-2 record so far.


Quick Hits


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