ONE of Europe's premier submission-grappling competitions takes place in Newport next Saturday evening, writes Jason Batty.

Polaris 18 will take place at ICC Wales with a card that showcases talent from across the world.

The organisation attracts the world's best submission grapplers and ju-jitsu players and regularly delivers UFC fighters past and present to put their skills to the test on the mats.

Polaris produced a mouth-watering card back at the ICC Wales in November 2019 which included former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and UFC welterweight challenger Gilbert Mendez.

The organisers planned on building on the success but were scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic but restrictions have eased to allow Newport to welcome fighters from Wales, Britain, Europe, Brazil, America and Japan.

The main card offers domestic contests, including a stand-out bout between Gwent's Craig Ewers and Scotland's Steven Ray, which provides an intriguing clash of styles.

Ewers, a time-two Commonwealth Games champion in judo will tackle former UFC veteran and Cage Warriors world champion Ray, who beat UFC star Paddy Pimblett by heal hook on his Polaris debut.

The co-main event sees ADCC British champion and newly-promoted BJJ black belt Jed Hue face American welterweight champion Edwin Najmi.

Both are unbeaten under the Polaris banner and the fighters are known for their crowd-pleasing, exciting styles.

Three-weight Polaris champion Ash Williams defends his featherweight crown against America-based Brazilian Paulo Miyao.

Swansea fighter and ADDC European champion Williams faces his toughest challenge to date when meets multiple time IBJJF World Champion Miyao.

In over 200 contests, the Brazilian has never been submitted at black belt level but the Welshman will feel confident having yet to be beaten in Polaris.

Doors open at 4pm and the event can be watched live on UFC Fight Pass.