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Grappling Report: BJJ legend Andre Galvao signs multi-fight deal for MMA comeback

A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

Andre Galvao is one of the most successful grapplers in history with six ADCC championships to his name, but it’s been a long time since he was seen in the cage. He started out his MMA career promisingly back in 2008 but retired in 2010 with a 5-2 record after suffering a brutal knockout loss against a then-undefeated Tyron Woodley who was still six years away from winning a UFC title.

Now after almost a decade competing exclusively in grappling, Galvao has announced that he’s signed a multi-fight contract with a major MMA promotion. It remains to be seen which promotion will be staging his comeback but the UFC is almost certainly not in the market for a BJJ star nearing 40. It’s more likely either Bellator or ONE Championship, with the Asian promotion having a habit of favoring Jiu-Jitsu stars.

Second edition of ADCC trials is underway

After the roaring success of the European, Middle-Eastern, and African trials in September, fans will be eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the first North American trials event. The first of two East Coast trials will be taking place over two days and have already broken records for the highest number of competitors with over 800 high-level athletes competing across seven different weightclasses for a place in the world championships.

There are too many elite competitors to name but the event will guarantee some exciting matchups in every division with athletes ranging from exciting young prospects to dominant veterans and IBJJF world champions. NCAA All-American Pat Downey and former UFC title-contender Cat Zingano are two unique competitors while teenagers like J.R Caballero, Cole Abate, and Caleb Tackett are dark horses with nothing to lose.

The full competitor list for the event can be found here.

Thamara Ferreira upsets Elisabeth Clay at Fight 2 Win 186

Elisabeth Clay came into F2W 186 after a stellar year where she has proven herself to be one of the best female grapplers on the planet on several occasions. Thamara Ferreira is no slouch of course, but she was the clear underdog in this contest as Clay had not yet been submitted in black belt competition and is known for her phenomenal leglock game. For that reason, nobody could have seen how the match would unfold.

Ferreira was clearly aware of Clay’s leg attacks and chose to spend the majority of the match avoiding leg entanglements altogether and staying on top. As she attempted a pass late in the match, Clay managed to get the entry she’d been looking for but not the result. Ferreira immediately secured a toehold and although Clay tried to counter, she was forced to tap for the very first time at this level.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Kevin Lee makes his grappling debut at Submission Underground 28

Since former UFC title-contender Kevin Lee was suspended by NSAC for Adderall use, it seems as though he’s decided to turn his hand to professional grappling to pass the time. He made his debut at Submission Underground 28 against Bellator veteran Cris Lencioni and although he made it through the regulation time-period, he wasn’t able to get anything going in EBI overtime and lost as Lencioni registered the fastest escape time.

Shortly after that, Aaron Tiegs faced off against Guilherme Vasconcelos in the first gi match to be contested on a SUG event. Tiegs eventually won in EBI overtime by securing a tight lapel choke that Vasconcelos wasn’t able to escape. In the main event, SUG fan-favorite Andy Varela took on the up-and-coming Haisam Rida in a tough matchup that also went to EBI overtime before Varela could be declared the winner.

Full results for the event can be found here.


Quick Hits


Technique Corner

Escaping Squid guard

Transitioning between Triangle choke variations

Passing Butterfly guard when they have an underhook