Andre Galvao joined ONE Championship with a reputation as one of the greatest BJJ practitioners of all time.
Now, the Brazilian icon will make his promotional debut in a submission grappling match against ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Reinier de Ridder, who called out Galvao after his latest victory.
De Ridder is a world-class submission specialist in MMA, but many fans are wondering if he’s bitten off more than he can chew in this intriguing contest at ONE X next Saturday, 26 March.
After all, Galvao has beaten the best of the best on the ground, and he’s looking to add “The Dutch Knight” to his list.
Here’s everything you need to know about “Deco” ahead of his first appearance inside the Circle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 He Comes From Humble Beginnings
Galvao hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and though his family wasn’t wealthy, he enjoyed his childhood in the great outdoors.
He took up judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 12, but he had to put martial arts training on hold at 14 when his father lost his job, leading to financial struggles.
The young Galvao then went to work in a local pharmacy to help provide for his five siblings. This helped instill an unflinching work ethic in him when he returned to BJJ almost three years later.
#2 He Has Won 5 IBJJF World Championships
Training under Luis Dagmar, it was clear that Galvao was a prodigal talent in BJJ, so his coach sent him to work with the legendary Fernando “Terere” Augusto – one of the greatest competitors of his time.
“Deco” thrived under his new tutelage and went on to become one of the most formidable athletes in the sport.
After winning the IBJJF World Championships at every level from blue belt up, Galvao then secured five World Titles as a black belt.
Impressively, these victories spanned from 2005 to 2017 after he spent several years away from the competition.
#3 He’s The ADCC GOAT
In 2011, Galvao showed his versatility when he dominated the competition to win his weight class and the absolute division at ADCC – the most prestigious submission grappling tournament on the planet.
Following that success, he was invited to compete in the Superfight in 2013.
And since defeating Braulio Estima that year, he’s retained his top-dog status at every ADCC event since, making him the only person to win the Superfight four times.
#4 He Runs One Of The Greatest BJJ Teams In The World
In 2008, Galvao established his own team, Atos Jiu-Jitsu, with Ramon Lemos, combining his competitive career with coaching the next generation.
Atos is now one of the most formidable teams on the planet, and the 39-year-old Galvao has had his hand in creating a raft of elite grapplers.
These include the Mendes brothers, recent ONE signings the Ruotolo brothers, Kaynan Duarte, Lucas Barbosa, and many more.
#5 He Already Has Elite-Level Experience In MMA
Alongside all of his accomplishments in grappling, Galvao has competed in high-level mixed martial arts.
From 2008-10, he fought in some of Japan’s and North America’s biggest promotions before he retired to focus on his other endeavors.
However, when he signed with ONE in 2021, the Brazilian revealed that he also plans to return to MMA and show that he still has what it takes to compete in the all-encompassing combat sport.