Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will square off with Nathaniel Wood in a superfight at Polaris 25.
UK-based grappling promotion Polaris has announced an intriguing matchup for the main event of its September 30 card. In addition to an eight-man grand prix, the event will feature a superfight between former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and fellow UFC standout Nathaniel Wood.
The promotion announced the match on Instagram.
A BJJ black belt under Matt Serra and a former Division III collegiate wrestler, Sterling has established himself as one of MMA’s top overall grapplers. He has used that grappling talent to amass an impressive 15-4 record in the UFC since joining the organization in 2014. Of those 15 victories, four have come by way of submission, including a rare Suloev Stretch finish in 2018.
Sterling captured the bantamweight title in 2021 at UFC 259 when he earned a disqualification victory over Petr Yan. He subsequently defended the belt three times before losing it to Sean O’Malley in his most recent outing, suffering a devastating knockout in August at UFC 292.
The 34-year-old has competed in professional submission grappling before. In August of last year, he defeated veteran black belt Damien Nitkin at a High Rollerz event – although he won under somewhat dubious circumstances.
Wood, meanwhile, is an accomplished MMA fighter in his own right. The Morden, England-based featherweight boasts a 7-2 record in the UFC and a 20-5 overall career record.
The Polaris 25 absolute grand prix
In addition to the main event superfight between Aljamain Sterling and Nathaniel Wood, Polaris 25 will also feature a talent-rich eight-man grand prix.
That tournament will showcase some of the planet’s top no-gi competitors, including ADCC champions Giancarlo Bodoni and Kaynan Duarte, as well as Polaris middleweight grand prix champion Roberto Jimenez.
Check out the current absolute grand prix line-up below:
- Giancarlo Bodoni
- Kaynan Duarte
- Roberto Jimenez
- Eoghan O’Flanagan
- Fabricio Andrey
- Izaak Michell
- Owen Livesey
- Marcin Maciulewicz
How to watch: Polaris 25 takes place on September 30 and will air live on UFC Fight Pass (subscription required).