Nicky Ryan Defeats Urijah Faber To Retain Polaris Featherweight Title

The 15-minute featherweight main event match of Polaris 10 ended with yet another victory for young Danaher-Phenom Nicky Ryan over the legendary and aggressive former MMA fighter Urijah Faber.

The UFC Hall of Famer responded to Ryan’s early double butterfly hooks with a slap to the face, drawing several loud gasps from the crowd. Ryan, 17, remained composed and attempted several butterfly sweeps before Faber, 40, shoved his back to the ground.

Faber continued to go for head and neck control while trying to kill Ryan’s hooks, but Ryan was constantly inverting and repositioning. At just under the minute mark Faber went to grab Ryan’s face, eliciting a warning from the ref.

“Urijah’s really just trying to rough Nicky up at this point,” said Polaris commentator and BJJ Black Belt Daniel Strauss.

This aggressive back and forth continued with Nicky on bottom until Ryan shot in for Faber’s left leg as he stood up, leading to a heel hook attempt. Faber rolled out and hit the edge of the mat, where after some deliberation from the refs the two were dragged in position back to the starting point.

Ryan begins to turn into the heel hook, but Faber is able to turn with the hold and slips out. After a brief standup exchange Ryan sits back down and Faber unleashes a flurry of aggressive pushes into the torso of the young Renzo fighter. One collar tie attempt is so aggressive that it seems to illicit a verbal warning from the ref.

The match plays out in this fashion for the remaining minutes with Ryan attempting multiple sweeps with double butterfly hooks and occasionally inverting to halt Faber’s advance, and Faber nearly getting passed the guard with a jump pass but is stopped by Ryan’s legs.

With three minutes left Ryan switches to a behind the knee grip to sweep Faber and collect his leg again, but Faber switches his hips and slips out. Faber makes one more near pass before Ryan inverts to escape.

After a triangle attempt from Ryan and more shoving on both knees from Faber, Ryan manages one last sweep to heel hook attempt in the closing seconds of the match. Before he’s able to finish the submission due to Faber’s defense, the match is called and Ryan is crowned winner by unanimous decision.

“It’s definitely tough to try and go after someone and get repeatedly palmed in the face,” Ryan said in his post fight interview. As for future plans, Ryan expressed interest in moving up to 155 lbs. to collect yet another Polaris belt.

The rest of the tournament results are listed bellow:

Nick Rodriguez Def. Ash Amos via RNC

Richie Martinez Def. Miha Perhavec via RNC

Ash Williams Def. Ethan Crelinsten via Decision

Craig Jones Def. Matheus Lutes via Decision

Nicky Rayan Def. Urijah Faber Via Decision


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