Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Ace Andre Galvao Eyes MMA Return Following 11-Year Absence

By Marcelo Alonso Nov 22, 2021

Andre Galvao earlier in November announced his intention to return to mixed martial arts following an 11-year absence from the sport.

One of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world’s most prominent and accomplished stars, Galvao holds multiple world titles in gi and no-gi competitions. The Atos Jiu-Jitsu leader linked arms with One Championship, where he joins other celebrated BJJ players like Gordon Ryan, Marcus Almeida, Garry Tonon and Michelle Nicolini.

“I got away from MMA to dedicate myself to building my team,” Galvao told Brazilian journalist Mario Filho on his YouTube channel OSS. “That was my main focus for the last 11 years, but I always had a fire burning inside myself to return to MMA. That’s what motivated me to sign a two-year, six-fight contract with One Championship. I hope to return around February or March.”

Part of the curiosity surrounding Galvao’s return involves his well-publicized animosity with Ryan, who wound up slapping him during an altercation in March. The fact that the American has also signed with One Championship means a fight between the rivals could happen in the not-too-distant future. Galvao, 39, admits a superfight with Ryan at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships in September motivated him to return to the middleweight division.

“Once I had my fight with Gordon scheduled for September, I didn’t want to lose too much weight,” he said. “I weigh around 200 pounds now, so my first fight will be at 185. Later on, I want to return to my original division, which is 170 pounds.”

Galvao, who serves as Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya’s jiu-jitsu trainer, sports a 5-2 record in MMA. He has not fought since being knocked out by Tyron Woodley at a Strikeforce event in October 2010.

“When I fought Tyron, I was a gi jiu-jitsu fighter,” Galvao said. “I got two weeks’ notice to face him and accepted. After that fight, my no-gi grappling and wrestling skills evolved a lot. All six of my ADCC titles came after that. I’m already training a lot of boxing. I’m a totally different fighter, and the fans will be able to see that when I fight in One Championship.”
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