Polaris 20: USA vs. Brazil line-up, preview, start times

On Saturday, June 25, Polaris returns to action with one of the best cards in the promotion’s history. The event will feature the Polaris Squads format in which elite grapplers representing the USA and Brazil will face each other in a fast-paced, team competition. And in the main event, MMA veterans and BJJ black belts Demian Maia and Benson Henderson will square off.

Each team consists of eight grapplers each — four under 95 kg. and four under 75 kg. Representatives from each team compete in one-on-one submission-only matches. If a competitor scores a submission, he stays on the mat to face the opposing team’s choice for the next grappler. In the event no submission occurs, both grapplers leave the mat and are replaced by a pair of new competitors. The team with the most submissions at the end of regulation is the winner.

Polaris 20: USA vs. Brazil team rosters:

Team USA:

Team Brazil:

Simply put, both teams are stacked with elite talent. Team USA will hold the experience edge in this ruleset, with 10th Planet submission specialists Geo and Richie Martinez leading the way in their return to Polaris Squads competition. The team also boasts a number of ADCC veterans and qualifiers, including Mason Fowler, Keith Krikorian, and Jon Blank.

Team USA might have the experience edge, but Team Brazil is filled with young, fast-rising talent. Teammates Fabricio Andrey, Diogo Reis, and Mica Galvao, all of whom have qualified for the ADCC World Championships, are three of the most exciting young competitors in all of jiu-jitsu. The squad also features Isaque Bahiense, who is coming off a second place showing at the 2022 IBJJF Worlds, as well as perennial top lightweight competitor Gabriel Sousa.

There are seemingly endless compelling possible match-ups. Mica Galvao has looked nothing short of dominant lately, losing just twice since 2021; he might be the most dangerous submission artist across either team. Galvao against practically any Team USA competitor is a main event for most grappling promotions. Similarly, fans should be excited about Fabricio Andrey testing his skills against the USA’s top talent. For Andrey, matches against Krikorian or Geo Martinez could be previews of possible showdowns at the ADCC World Championships.

How to watch: Polaris 20: USA vs. Brazil takes place on Saturday, June 25 and will air live on UFC Fightpass. The prelims will start at 3pm GMT (10am ET) and the main card begins at 7pm GMT (2pm ET).

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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