Demian Maia vs. Benson Henderson announced for Polaris Squads main event

Polaris Squads: USA vs. Brazil was already shaping up to be one of the summer’s most intriguing submission grappling events. That event has now added a compelling main event superfight between longtime MMA and UFC veterans Demian Maia and Benson Henderson. The event is scheduled for June 25.

Although both Maia and Henderson are best known for their career accomplishments in MMA, neither man is new to submsission grappling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Fresh off his first grappling match in over a decade (a quick submission win against fellow UFC veteran Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira), Maia will look to keep the ball rolling here as he returns to competitive grappling after a 14-year UFC career that saw him challenge for the UFC title in two different weight classes.

Maia is widely considered one of the best ever representatives of jiu-jitsu in MMA. Across his 28 career wins, 14 came by way of submission, including four UFC submission of the night winners. Maia has not competed since his June 2021 decision loss to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263. Shortly after that bout, the UFC declined to renew Maia’s contract.

Henderson is a former UFC lightweight champion and a current Bellator MMA contender. He is a talented wrestler and submission artist, known for his flexibility and incredible submission escapes. Henderson competed at the 2015 ADCC World Championships where he went 0-2. This will not be Henderson’s first time competing for Polaris; fans will recall his memorable match against AJ Agazarm in 2018.

Polaris Squads is a team-based grappling competition in which squads go head-to-head in one-on-one grappling matches with the winner staying on the mat. Polaris Squads: USA vs. Brazil is already loaded with top talent, including ADCC qualifiers Isaque Bahiense, Diogo Reis, Mica Galvao, and Fabricio Andrey on Team Brazil, and Keith Krikorian, Mason Fowler, and Geo and Richie Martinez on Team USA.

How to watch: Polaris Squads: USA vs. Brazil will take place on Saturday, June 25 and will air live on UFC Fightpass (subscription required).

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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