There's a new Pro BJJ Event happening and Budo Jake got a chance to sit down with Scramble Founder, Matt Benyon to talk all about - Polaris Pro!
Budo Jake: What does Polaris mean?
Matt Benyon: "Polaris" is the brightest star in the constellation. We wanted to have the impression of a shining light, or something being the pinnacle. We want to stand out in the newly emerging field of professional jiu jitsu events. To cut a long story short we were originally going to run the live shows as "Paragon", forgetting completely about Jeff Glover's & Franjinha's organisation. We ended up changing the name just before launch.
Budo Jake: Who is producing this event?
Matt Benyon: The main partners are Scramble and Tatami, and we are being supported by Jiu Jitsu style magazine, and BJJ Hacks. Essentially we've brought together the main players of the UK / Europe jiu jitsu media and apparel scene.
Budo Jake: Why did you start this pro bjj event?
Matt Benyon: Both Scramble and Tatami have long wanted to run a live event but felt that it was too much work when also running brands. By working together, we could achieve our goals. We feel that there is a market out there now for live, professional jiu jitsu events - we've personally spent money on pay per views of other events and experienced the excitement they can offer. We're also proud to offer jiu jitsu athletes other ways to make a living from our sport.
Budo Jake: How many matches will there be? Gi or nogi?
Matt Benyon: On the first card, there will be eight matches, a mixture of gi and no gi. Currently there are more gi matches than no gi. This is just the way it turned out, we didn't set out with a specific plan, although we felt gi matches needed to be represented strongly.
Budo Jake: What are the rules?
Matt Benyon: Essentially the rules are IBJJF black belt rules for in the gi, and ADCC rules for no gi. The matches are 15 minutes in length and you can win by submission only. We went back and forth on various rules for a long time, and in the end decided that this was the best way to keep the competition pure and fair - win by sub only. No referee or judges' decision, no cause for complaint or human error, something that happens a lot on the current competition circuit. Athletes are rewarded with a bonus if they finish by submission.
Budo Jake: What criteria do you use to pick athletes?
Matt Benyon: It's a mixture of local fighters, exciting fighters, some big names, and some veterans. We just want fights to be credible, and exciting.
Budo Jake: What feeling do you want the viewers to be left with?
Matt Benyon: That they now have another event to look forward to! We're aware that this is the first event and we're doing our best to get everything in line before we go live, but we want those viewing in person and online to feel like they've seen the beginning of a new live jiu jitsu event that has the potential to grow into something huge.