Two New Champions Crowned At Polaris 11 (And Nick Rodriguez still won’t wear a shirt)

Polaris 11 provided all of us strangle addicts with yet another intense night of BJJ just hours ago. Easily the biggest upset of the night was that both reigning Polaris champions n the card, Mansher Khera and Talita Alencar, were usurped by their respective challengers in the co main and main events. But even barring those slugfests there were still plenty of high profile matches to mull over and break down, beginning with the only man alive that’s actually allergic to shirts; Nick Rodriguez.

Rodriguez faced off against Roy Dean black belt Ben Dyson in the BJJ equivalent of a monster truck rally. Rodriguez starts with heavy collar ties and arm drag attempts and both men are in a standup deadlock for the first two minutes. Rodriguez then hits a big single leg and falls into Dyson’s half guard. He attempts to use his infamous top pressure with a body lock to force his way past the guard, buy Dyson is able to keep up his frames and escape back to the feet. Rodriguez’s repeated grip attempts ate stripped by Dyson, and the British grappler jumps to full guard with a big overhook on Rodriguez’s right arm. Before Dyson can capitalize Rodriguez explodes back to the feet and picks up a huge blast double back to closed guard. Dyson returns to the feet this time and the two spend a few minutes poking and prodding each other form the feet. Rodriguez gets another double and the same process repeats itself back to the feet. In the closing minutes Rodriguez secures the victory with a final blast double and an arm drag to the back, winning the decision.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the sub, but I did do a lot of cool takedowns for you guys,” Rodriguez said in his post fight interview.

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Marcos Tinoco faced Tommy Langaker in the only gi match of the main card. Being their third fight with each man holding a win over the other, expectations were high all around. Tinoco begins by immediately pulling guard and sweeping an unbalanced Langaker into half guard. From here he threatens the knee slide but Langaker defends beautifully. Tinoco sits back to attack a leg but this allows Langaker to go for the berimbolo. Tinoco repositions to the top to stop and goes back to working the guard. Tinoco disengages to the feet but Langaker remains seated with an open guard. Tinoco moves to several different positions looking for any holes in Langaker’s guard, and tries to engage on the ground again before having to quickly defend another bolo attempt. Tinoco again attacks the leg and Langaker is almost able to get a hip bump sweep but Tinoco raises his hips to remain on top. The match continues with Tinoco’s only submission attempts coming from shallow leg locks that constantly open him up to Langaker’s inversions and berimbolos but he remains on top for the majority. Towards the end of the match Langaker attempts to move to deep half and sweep but Tinoco again repositions, and repositions again when threatened by a kneebar. Tinoco very nearly passes with head pressure at the five-minute mark but is stuffed and forced to retreat. Both men stand at the closing seconds of the match, and Langaker defends a takedown with a guillotine attempt. Just as he’s about to flip off that submission to mount, the match ends with Langaker being awarded the decision.

Langaker then used his post fight interview to call out the cohost of The Matburn Podcast Keenan Cornelius, hoping to face him on the Polaris stage in the near future.

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Mansher Khera sought to defend his belt against Gracie Barra challenger Edwin Najmi. The match lit up like a roman candle right away, with Khera beginning by sitting to guard and Najmi jumping in to control his left leg for a straight ankle lock attempt. He tries to solidify the hold by falling to the side, but Khera escapes. Najmi then constantly engages with Khera trying to pass the guard. Najmi capitalizes on a front headlock by rolling to back control and sinking in a body triangle and an RNC attempt. For about two minutes Najmi tries to finish the choke, But Kher defends with grip fighting and he can’t close the gaps. He tries transitioning to mount, But the body lock makes it difficult to reposition himself and Kher is able to escape. Strangely the explosiveness of the first five minutes doesn’t extend to most of the match, with the next seven minutes consisting of Khera trying to bait Najmi to engage with him from the ground and Najmi engaging briefly only to patiently disengage when he can’t pass the guard. Then in the last 40 seconds Najmi lights up again, countering a single leg attempt with a whizzer then scorring two back to back takedowns. A final omoplata attempt from Kher ends the match, with Najmi being crowned the new Polaris Welterweight champion.

Finally, the main event pit Ffion Davies against challenger Talita Alencar. Alencar starts by pulling guard and Davies works a leg drag after being reset. Alencar does a great job defending early before Davies jumps to the back with both hooks in. Alencar shakes her off and gets the sweep, only for Davies to sweep her in return. Alencar makes an attempt at a toe hold, but Davies is able to slip out and both stand. They reset and Davies forces a guard pull then passes to side control. The two are reset for going off the mat, and quickly finds the edge again requiring another reset. Alencar works her guard, But Davies continues to use her top pressure to wear her down. Davies works a head and arm choke from half guard and Alencar defends with frames.  Davies almost passes to three-quarter mount but Alencar repositions to block her leg. At seven minutes left Davies continues to work the shoulder pressure from half, and is constantly on the verge of passing. Alencar is able to free her left arm from the head and arm choke, and tries to work to deep half.

Alencar is finally able to stand, but Davies immediately shoves her damn near into the crowd. Davies is absolutely out for blood the last three minutes as Alencar pulls guard. They are reset in the center and Davies works the stack pass but Alencar hips out. Davies is able to roll over to take the back, but can’t secure both hooks and Alencar is able to escape when Davies goes to mount. The final 30 seconds Davies sits back in guard in an attempt to get the heel hook but fails. Davies Wins by decision in what is without question one of the most competitive and entertaining matches of the card.

“I’d like to do higher weight this time, 55 is kinda hard for me.” Fion Davies said in her post fight interview.

The full card results are listed bellow:

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Liam Cann Def. Chris Fishgold  (via Decision)

Nick Rodriguez Def. Ben Dyson (via Decision)

Tommy Langaker Def. Marcos Tinoco  (via Decision)

Steven Ray Def. Paddy Pimblett  (via Heelhook)

Edwin Najmi Def. Mansher Khera  (via Decision)

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Ffion Davies Def. Talita Alencar  (via Decision)

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