The highly anticipated Polaris 5 is finally happening tomorrow, and if you’re not rearranging your plans to watch it, you’re making a mistake. The event features twelve matches and includes a few of jiu-jitsu’s biggest stars… and it all leads up to one of the most hyped up matches we’ve seen in a while. Here are just a few reasons you should be as pumped as we are:
- AJ Agazarm Is Still Going Full-Steam Ahead
Agazarm’s last few major competitions haven’t wound up in his favor. After falling to Osvaldo “Queixinho” Moizinho in the second round of Worlds, he lost to Benson Henderson at Fight to Win Pro 37 and then Vitor Oliveira at F2W Pro 41. But never the type to stay down, Agazarm is going to be back in action at Polaris, this time going up against the UK’s Lloyd Cooper. Cooper was actually suggested by fans as an opponent for Agazarm — according to an Attack the Back interview, Agazarm had asked for recommendations for a UK-based grappler to be matched up against, and after Cooper was listed as an option and had 1,000 “likes” and more than 300 comments to back him up, he was selected. Agazarm’s unofficial motto is “always forward”, and now we just need to see if this is the match that will really put the gas pedal to the floor for him.
- Oliver Taza Gets To Test Himself Against One Of The UK’s Finest
Taza, a Renzo Gracie brown belt, isn’t quite as famous as some of his teammates, but given the way he’s been performing recently, it’s only a matter of time before he is. In addition to qualifying for ADCC through the European Trials this year, he’s also an EBI veteran and a No-Gi Worlds medalist. His opponent, Ross Nicholls, is going to put him to the test, though — a Roger Gracie black belt, Nicholls is a two-time Euros champion and, according to the Roger Gracie website, among the top ten lightweights in the world right now. Both competitors are worthy opponents for each other, and this match is sure to set off fireworks.
- Masakazu Imanari Is Ready To Light Up The Undercard
When even the undercard is so stacked that the guy the “Imanari Roll” is named after is on there, you know you’re in for a treat. The leglocking legend is going to go head-to-head with one of the UK’s top fighters, Valmyr Neto. Neto himself has a solid string of accomplishments to his name, having won the 2011 British Open, the 2007 Para State competition, and the 2011 Rolling Thunder competition.
2. Jake Shields Makes His Return
Shields competed (and won) at SUG 4 against Dillon Danis, so fans are excited to see him come back to the event so soon. Danis has said that he wants a rematch against Shields, but he’ll have to wait; this time, he’ll be going against Polaris 2 veteran Dan Strauss: a Roger Gracie black belt who’s competed at ADCC and EBI as well. Although many people know Shields for his MMA-related accomplishments, he’s been showing the grappling scene that his jiu-jitsu is no joke. Whether or not he’ll be able to do anything against the very talented and very strong Strauss, though, remains to be seen.
- Garry Tonon And Dillon Danis Will Finally Give Us What We’ve Been Waiting For
There’s been a substantial amount of trashtalking leading up to this match, with Danis throwing verbal jabs not only at Tonon, but also his Renzo Gracie teammates. In response, Tonon went all-out and created a troll campaign to end all troll campaigns. He’s been relentlessly going after his opponent for weeks now, dyeing his hair, mocking and parodying Danis’ social media posts, and even getting henna tattoos to make fun of Danis’ own body art. Whether or not you’re a fan of verbal sparring in combat sports, it’s hard to deny that the beef between these two has really upped the anticipation for their match. Only one of them will be victorious tomorrow, but it’s doubtful that these two are just going to kiss and make up after the match is over… even if the weigh-in photos suggested otherwise.
Polaris 5 starts at 17:00 UK time (or noon EST) on Saturday, August 19 and can be streamed live exclusively on Fight Pass.
Polaris 5 Main Card:
Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon vs Dillon Danis
Jake Shields vs Dan Strauss (Raspberry Ape)
Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett vs Phil Harris
Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro vs Caol Uno
AJ Agazarm vs Lloyd Cooper
Oliver Taza vs Ross Nicholls
Vanessa English vs Sam Cook
Ronnie Mann vs Ashleigh Grimshaw