Mixed Martial Arts

Andre Galvao Says Reinier De Ridder ‘Played It Safe’ In Grappling Draw, Wants MMA Rematch

Jun 10, 2022
Andre Galvao and Reinier de Ridder face off in the Circle at ONE X: Part I

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Andre Galvao wished things ended a little differently in his grappling super-match with ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Reinier de Ridder.

“Deco” locked horns with the undefeated MMA star at the historic ONE X card in March. But after neither athlete won by submission during 12 minutes of action, the bout was declared a draw.

While he was frustrated that he could not secure the tap, Galvao says his opponent’s mindset played a big role in the outcome.

He told ONE Championship:

“[De Ridder is] tough. He’s a guy that wins all his fights via submission, so that shows that he knows what he’s doing, he knows grappling. But I felt that in that fight, he just tried to survive, to be honest. And if I were in his shoes, I would probably have done the same.”

Galvao was recently inducted into the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Hall of Fame, and he wanted his ONE Championship debut to be spectacular.

However, he believes De Ridder was unwilling to take risks, which made it difficult to find openings for a finish.

The Brazilian said:

“He used the 12 minutes and the cage experience to just defend and not do much. I don’t think he tried anything. So I think, he felt that if he tried something, he could open up an opportunity for me to finish him. So he played it safe. He played completely different from the way he said that he would play.

“Because in interviews, he said that he was [going to] choke me. He was like [going to] do this, do that, take my back and whatever, and he did nothing. But it’s part of the game, it was his strategy.”

Still, Galvao thinks very highly of the two-division ONE World Champion, who took a break from mixed martial arts to compete in their submission-grappling match.

And while he wasn’t overly impressed with De Ridder’s game plan in their contest, he dished out some praise for the Dutchman’s technique and power.

“Deco” said:

“Other than that, I respect him a lot. He did a strategy where he could pretty much draw. His grappling skills are good and I felt he’s strong. You know, he’s very strong in terms of strength. He looks skinny but he’s strong. He’s a strong guy.”

Andre Galvao Wants To Fight Reinier De Ridder In MMA Next

Andre Galvao is open to a rematch with Reinier de Ridder, although he’d prefer to make his own switch and compete under mixed martial arts rules.

It would be an extremely tough test, as “The Dutch Knight” owns a 15-0 MMA record along with the ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Titles, but the BJJ legend would happily step up to the plate.

Galvao said:

“Oh, I would love to do it. It would be amazing. He’s a double-champ.”

For now, De Ridder is scheduled to defend his middleweight belt against Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 22 July.

Meanwhile, Galvao has five MMA victories and last competed in 2010, although he’s been planning to rejoin the all-around sport since signing with ONE Championship earlier this year.

“Deco” knows De Ridder would be a worthy opponent under those rules, but he’s also confident that he can beat his rival on the ground.

The Brazilian added:

“I think, of course, like in a stand-up game, probably he has a little bit more experience than me. But I will do my best to put his back on the floor. And I know that would be hard because he will try to just stand up the whole time, keeping me near the cage, and all that. But I think I will do really well because from the grappling match that I had with him, I took him down so easily.

“Also, the grappling game with strikes, it’s completely different. I think if I’m on top of him, I could throw some punches and strike him, and I could get more opportunities to open up for the submission, and then end up submitting him.”

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