This is a rare weekend without a UFC event, but if perhaps this can be the time for MMA fans to tune in to a different combat sport. Check below for everything you need to know about the promising BJJ event.
Polaris 25 preview
UFC champ Aljamain Sterling’s BJJ match
Aljamain Sterling is keeping active soon after losing his UFC bantamweight title, and will be headlining Polaris 25 in a welcome switch to BJJ for one of MMA’s best grapplers. He was originally supposed to face Nathaniel Wood on this event, but he had to pull out and was replaced by another UFC veteran.
Sterling will now grapple Mike Grundy, who apart from his 3-year UFC stint, is known for being an accomplished national team wrestler for the UK.
A deep 8-man Absolute GP with a $30K prize
While MMA fans might tune into the event to see how Sterling does in a pure grappling ruleset, the main draw for most BJJ fans is their pretty stacked Absolute GP. As seen on the image below, Polaris also has an alternate poster that paid homage to PRIDE’s iconic 2006 Openweight GP poster.
In what they’re calling the richest prize in European grappling history, Polaris 25’s 8-man absolute grand prix will have $30,000 waiting for the winner. This has led to a deep field with several BJJ stars, including two reigning ADCC champions.
The two biggest favorites on the tournament are likely Gian Carlo Bodoni from John Danaher’s New Wave team and Atos’ Kaynan Duarte, who is two-time ADCC champ and three-time IBJJF world champ. The two are the reigning 2022 ADCC champs at 88 kg (194 lbs) and 99 kg (218 lbs), respectively.
The two early favorites will be on the opposite side of the brackets, and will have to get through some pretty good grapplers first. That field includes Polaris champ Roberto Jimenez, BJJ world champ “Hokage” Fabricio Andrey, ADCC vet Izaak Michell, Judo star Owen Livesey, Polaris Contenders winner Marcin Maciulewicz, and Jason Rau.
Polaris 25: Absolute GP Brackets
Polaris 25 full results, fight card, video highlights
Aljamain Sterling def. Mike Grundy via decision
Kaynan Duarte def. Fabricio Andrey by submission (rear naked choke)
Fabricio Andrey def. Giancarlo Bodoni via decision (1-0 on points)
Kaynan Duarte def. Izaak Mitchell via decision (3-1 on points)
Kaynan Duarte def. Jason Rau via submission (arm triangle choke)
Fabricio Andrey def. Owen Livesey via deciscion (1-0 on points)
Izaak Michell def. Roberto Jimenez via decision (2-0 on points)
Gian Carlo Bodoni def. Marcin Maciulewicz via submission (rear naked choke)
How to watch Polaris 25: Live stream and start time
With Polaris 25 being a UK event, it happens Saturday afternoon on September 30, with the main card starting at 2 p.m. ET. The event can be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
The prelims will also feature several grapplers from the UK and EU BJJ scene. That will have a free live stream on YouTube.
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