It seems as though there have been a number of complaints regarding the most recent Polaris event. The complaints stem from the fact that no submissions occurred on the main card of the event. Some people went so far as to complain that they deserve their money back because of this.
Such complaints are childish and nonsensical. A match that ends with a submission does not somehow miraculously become a great spectacle to be seen. The best evidence of this would be to watch almost any ultra-heavy weight match in which two obese grapplers lay on top of one another for a long duration of time before the person on top manages to submit the person on bottom. This is not exciting.
However, one needs to look no further than the match between Rousimar Palhares and Garry Tonon at Polaris Pro 3. Was there a submission? No. Was it exciting? Yes, very.
Right away, Tonon pressed the action. Palhares returned the favor and treated us to some very flashy throws and takedowns. Both men battled back and forth for leg locks, kimuras, and in hunt of a better position. When Tonon mounted Palhares he could have easily taken a moment to rest and gather himself while draining his opponent. Instead, he immediately switched to knee-on-belly and continued to attack.
Jake Shields vs AJ Agazarm, in spite of its controversies (or because of them), was also very exciting. It followed the old WWE format of “face” vs “heel”. No matter who the fans were cheering for, they were cheering. They had picked a side and invested themselves in it. Did it end in a submission? No. However, we did get this great gif of Shields slapping Agazarm in the middle of the match without provocation.
It isn’t the finish that makes a match exciting. What makes it exciting is the level of effort that a competitor puts into a competition. The preparation they’ve put in leading up to the fight and the amount of their hearts they pour out in the midst of their struggle are what make it exciting. Hunt vs Silva ended without a finish and was even declared a draw but was a candidate for fight of the year. Finishing doesn’t equate to excellence.
This doesn’t mean bad or boring matches don’t occur, because they definitely do. However, Polaris Pro 3 was not a host of such matches. Polaris Pro 3 was home to amazing skills that were put on display for the community. It was the epitome of great and exciting jiu-Jitsu.