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Masakazu Imanari To Face Nicky Ryan At Polaris 8
Exploring this stacked card…
Recently, ripples were made in the grappling community by the announcement of Masakazu Imanari v. Nicky Ryan at Polaris 8. They stated the following on their Instagram page, “Unfortunately due to injury, Ash Williams has had to pull out of his title bout with Nicky Ryan. Masakazu Imanari, coming off a very closely contested split decision loss to Ash in the semi-finals of our featherweight bracket, steps in to replace him, and the veteran grappler has only one thing on his mind for this match - to give everything he has to take the Polaris featherweight belt. Standing in his way is Nicky Ryan, who wants to go down in history as the greatest grappler of all time, starting with becoming the Polaris featherweight champion.”
Masakazu Imanari should need no introduction to the grappling community. Imanari, among other things, is a mixed martial artist and former professional wrestler. He is best known for the Imanari Roll, a technique of rolling from a standing position into a leg lock. This technique has garnered wide spread use in the grappling community. Additionally, he is known for the Imanari Choke. This choke can be best described as a combination or an omoplatata and rear naked choke.
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Nicky Ryan is a purple belt under the famed John Danaher. He is the younger brother of Gordon Ryan. Despite his age of 16, he hold notable wins over 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, Geo Martinez, Marvin Castelle, Phil Harris and Hideo Tokoro. Like everyone on the Danaher Death Squad, Nicky Ryan show cases an impressive leg lock arsenal in addition to a well-rounded game.
The event promises to be an interesting card. In addition to the Ryan v. Imanari match the card touts some other impressive matches. A few notable highlights are as follows: Keenan Cornelius has been pitted against Craig Jones, Vagner Rocha will face Benson Henderson and Marcin Held will test his ability against Ross Nicholls.
What are your thoughts on the Ryan v. Imanari contest? Which fight are you most looking forward to and why?