Polaris returns with their first event in 2018 with an excellent card for London at the Indigo inside the O2. The main event features two of the best grapplers pound for pound in the world as Australian black belt Craig Jones will face-off against former Strikeforce & Elite XC champion Jake Shields. For fans of MMA, most likely the name Jake Shields rings a bell. While this is not an MMA match, Shields has a wealth of martial arts experience inside and out of a cage.
Shields is a black belt himself under Cesar Gracie and had a lot of freestyle wrestling experience before training in jiu-jitsu as well as other martial arts. Both he and his opponent have competed for a lot of matches at Welterweight but this match will be for the Polaris Middleweight title. Shields is a former Middleweight MMA champion for Strikeforce and would be the bigger man in the match-up.
Shields styles himself as an “American Jiu-Jitsu” practitioner and being on top is where the American is at his best. His wrestling will be what he needs to lean on. Jones is very good in the 50/50 position and has shown no problem submitting bigger guys. Getting past his legs and avoid leg locks to me, will be how Shields can win. The X-factor for Shields will be his conditioning. He has done many 25 minute fights in MMA so just grappling for 15 minutes should be no problem for him.
His opponent in Craig Jones is coming off an impressive performance at the EBI 14 tournament in December of 2017. Even though he was the runner-up in that tournament, Jones rolled his way into the finals with three very quick finishes. Even though the finishes were quick, adding in the fact he was the smaller man in every fight for this absolute weight tournament makes it even more impressive. He feels short in the finals against the ADCC & multiple EBI winner Gordan Ryan.
Jones came as close as anyone has come to beating ‘The King’ in a grappling match, coming within inches of submitting Ryan by an armbar in overtime. Jones is one the best leg-lockers in the world and as I said earlier, is very skilled in the 50/50 position and most likely will drop down right to his butt to start his game and the match. If he can keep Shields in front of him and not let him pass the guard, Jones will have great chance to win this match.
Polaris 6 will take place on Saturday, February 17th at 7 pm GMT and will stream live on UFC Fightpass. The event will be held at the Indigo at the O2 in London, England. Overall 12 matches will take place and features gi and no-gi matches.