The last few years have seen the rise of a new breed of jiu jitsu events, most notably the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Metamoris, and their UK counterpart Polaris. These events do a good job of taking the sometimes boring BJJ tournament format and turning it into something a bit more viewer friendly and entertaining. The latest Polaris event certainly served up some entertainment when former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson shot on his opponent AJ Agazarm, only to carry them both (and the ref) off the stage!
UPDATE: Polaris staffers reached out to let us know “There were black crash mats (that you cannot see on the broadcast) set up” off the stage in case something like this happened and “fighters were specifically told not to attempt high amplitude takedowns when facing the audience.”
“I didn’t feel too bad, it wasn’t too bad for me,” Henderson told MMANYTT when asked if he’d been hurt in the fall. “I think the jiu jitsu competitions, they need to be a bit more careful how they stage the mats, maybe angle it slightly different, when the whole length of the mat is hitting the edge of the stage, maybe angle it like a diamond, a triangle so then the two sides go off with a bit more space ... maybe use cages, who knows?
“I had a good double leg, if I had more room I would have finished it,” he said with a rueful smile. “Sadly I went off the stage so I wasn’t able to finish it. It was just in the heat of the moment trying to get the double leg and there was the end of the stage.”
Henderson went on to win the match against AJ via unanimous decision. He’s looking to get back to action as soon as possible, whether it’s in Bellator or another jiu jitsu competition.
“I’m not going to have too many more chances to compete at such a high level so I want to take as many chances as I can, I want to go out there and compete as much as I can,” Benson said. “I want as many MMA fights, as many jiu jitsu competitions, I wanna go out there because I know my window is getting smaller and smaller and smaller.”