Polaris 10 Results: Nicky Ryan Defeats Urijah Faber via Unanimous Decision

Polaris 10 Results: Nicky Ryan Defeats Urijah Faber via Unanimous Decision

Polaris 10 grappling event went down last night (Saturday, May 25, 2019) from The Lighthouse in Poole, Dorset, England, and streamed globally on UFC Fight Pass. The main event of the evening brought an interesting, seemingly out-of-the-blue Featherweight (65.8 kg) no gi title bout between the decorated 17-year-old grappling wunderkind Nicky Ryan and the former GC, KOTC and WEC Bantamweight champ, UFC Hall of Famer and Team Alpha Male head coach, Urijah Faber. 

Nicky “The Necklace” Ryan is Danaher Death Squad's own grappling ace and the younger brother of BJJ superstar Gordon Ryan, known for excellent triangle game and leg locks. Gordon Ryan's previous two matches, he choked out two Japanese competitors - legendary Masakazu Imanari at Polaris 8 and Hideo Tokoro at Quintet 3

On the other side, Urijah “The Californian Kid” Faber has strong wrestling credentials and rides on the grappling score of 34-10-0. Faber’s most dangerous move is guillotine choke. The former UFC star last grappled as Team Captain at Quintet 3, where he earned a draw against the Pride FC legend Kazushi “The Gracie Killer” Sakuraba. You know Team Alpha Male's head coach and UFC legend  won’t be a walk in the park for the young grappling prodigy.  

Despite Ryan being the big favorite for a win the match, this sounded like a very intriguing bout. Until now, the former UFC competitor showed excellent endurance, speed, and pressure. While Nicky had no hard time against the opponents who brought the fight to him, it was sure to be an interesting matchup. UFC veteran Urijah Faber vs. young grappling prodigy Nicky Ryan.

Garry Tonon's Thoughts on Nicky Ryan vs. Urijah Faber

Garry Tonon is a BJJ fighter who rides on a perfect ONE FC streak of 5 wins and 0 losses. But he is also Nicky Ryan’s teammate and friend too. In his last bout, Tonon heel-hooked his way through dangerous Japanese Yoshihiko Nakahara at ONE FC: Enter The Dragon preliminary card. Grappling phenom spoke about Ryan’s chances against Faber in an interview with Body Lock MMA.

Garry Tonon is a BJJ fighter who rides on a perfect ONE FC streak of 5 wins and 0 losses. But he is also Nicky Ryan’s teammate and friend too. In his last bout, Tonon heel-hooked his way through dangerous Japanese Yoshihiko Nakahara at ONE FC: Enter The Dragon preliminary card. Grappling phenom spoke about Ryan’s chances against Faber in an interview with Body Lock MMA.

Tonon favors Nicky Ryan because he is a BJJ specialist, but describes Faber as a stronger competitor. Yet, size doesn’t always play an important role in a BJJ bout.

I think he’ll do really well against Urijah, I was actually kind of surprised that Urijah took the fight, but I think it’s really cool that he did.

Nicky is specializing in this, he’s doing it every day, multiple times per day. Sure, he’s younger, sure he’s not nearly as strong – Urijah is going to be way stronger. 

Faber’s size and strength advantages are going to play a role even though I consider jiu-jitsu to be a highly technical sport where a lighter guy can beat a bigger guy, it plays a role man. Urijah is going to be a lot stronger and it’s going to be an interesting challenge for Nicky to deal with”

Tonon claims Nicky has already had problems with strong rivals in the past. So, it should certainly be a good matchup! Tonon believes that Faber will be coming out as the aggressor, but believes in teammate’s abilities. Nicky is the much more technical grappler compared to Faber, Tonon predicts the only way Urijah can squeeze out a win is by decision.

The Match

As expected, the 15-minute war ended in favor of Nicky Ryan. Nicky almost instantly sat on the ground. Faber responded to the opponent’s butterfly hooks with a slap to the middle of the forehead. Old habits certainly die hard for the UFC vet!

Urijah was trying to kill Ryan’s hooks by aggressively going for head and neck control, but Nicky showed he is a real master of repositioning and inverting. He didn’t let Faber get the advantage. Then Faber attempted to grab the rival’s face, and he received a warning by the referee.

Nicky was defending from the bottom position well, while Faber was trying his best to remain on the top.

The two stood up, then Ryan shot in for Faber’s left leg, and this takedown attempt led to an awesome heel hook attempt, six minutes after the beginning of the bout. Yet, the UFC Hall of Famer somehow rolled out of this position and ended on the edge of the mat. The two were dragged to the center by the officials. Close call for Faber!

As Ryan continued trying to turn into a heel hook, Faber successfully rolled out of the dangerous position, and got himself out. After a short stand-up session, young prospect sat again, but Urijah delivered a combo of brutal chest shoves to the body of the young grappling phenom. One collar tie attempt even resulted in another warning by the referee.

The next part of the match was very intriguing, as Nicky attempted a few sweeps with double butterfly hooks, and Urijah Faber nearly passed the guard with a jump pass. Nicky saw this one coming and neutralized it with ease!

Then Ryan switched to behind knee grip. He attempted to sweep Urijah, who slipped away well. The young prospect then attempted a triangle choke, but the UFC Hall of Famer survived that attempt too.

In the final seconds of the match, we’ve seen another wonderful heel hook attempt by Nicky. But the time was up, and the referee waved off the contest.

The Decision

Excellent grappling action by these two competitors. Seasoned vet Urijah Faber wasn’t going to make this easy for the young prodigy. We were promised some action packed grappling action and that’s exactly what we got with these two grappling warriors.

Nicky Ryan shows once again shows off his deadly technical skills on the mat, proving that technique beats strength. Expect nothing less from Danaher Death Squad’s elite grappler! Nicky Ryan defeats Urijah Faber via unanimous decision and won the Featherweight Title.

In his post-fight interview, Ryan mentioned that he was disappointed with his performance as he wasn’t able to pull off the submission win. His future plans is to move up divisions and challenge Ash Williams for his belt!

Polaris 10 Full Results:

Nicky Ryan defeats Urijah Faber via unanimous decision
Craig Jones defeats Matheus Lutes via unanimous decision
Ash Williams defeat Ethan Crelinsten via unanimous decision
Caol Uno defeats Leigh Remedios via Keylock Submission – Round 1, 5:10
Richie Martinez defeats Miha Perhavec via Rear Naked Choke Submission – Round 1, 0:53
Nick Rodriguez defeats Ash Amos via submission Rear Naked Choke Submission – Round 1, 7:30