Andre Galvao will be competing for the first time in almost three years in an upcoming ONE Championship event where he will take on the promotion’s reigning Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight champion Reinier de Ridder in a grappling match. Galvao is one of the most successful grapplers of all time with five IBJJF world championships to his name along with being the longest reigning ADCC superfight champion of all-time and a member of the ADCC Hall of Fame. In recent years, Galvao has taken a significant amount of time away from competing and has rarely been seen competing outside of defending the aforementioned superfight title.
Since 2017, Galvao has only competed four times on three separate occasions. He successfully defended his ADCC superfight title against Claudio Calasans in 2017 before competing at King of the Mats in 2018 and going 1-1 in a pair of close matches. He returned once more in 2019 to defend his ADCC title against Felipe Pena and it wasn’t even clear at one point whether he would be returning to compete again. He hasn’t competed at all since then but recently signed a contract with ONE Championship with the option to compete in either one or both of submission grappling and MMA.
While it might seem unlikely that Galvao would return to MMA just a few months shy of his 40th birthday, he has actually been open about his desire to get back into the sport in recent years. For his first ONE Championship fight, the grappling legend will be sticking to what he does best and taking on double champion Reinier de Ridder in a submission grappling match on March 26th. De Ridder has been one of the fastest rising stars for ONE Championship and is currently undefeated in MMA with a perfect 15-0 professional record.
De Ridder has split his time between the Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions throughout his career and after three impressive wins for ONE Championship, he was given his first title-shot in the Middleweight division. He grabbed that opportunity with both hands and submitted Aung La Nsang in the very first round to take home the title. He then fought La Nsang once again for the Light-Heavyweight title and beat him in convincing fashion to earn a unanimous decision before returning to Middleweight to defend his title.
The double champion is an accomplished grappler and has finished 10 out of his 15 MMA fights by way of submission, including 3 of his 6 ONE Championship fights, so will still present a tough challenge even without the use of strikes. Reinier de Ridder will compete against Andre Galvao at the same event that will feature the promotional debut of Karel ‘silver fox’ Pravec black belt Danielle Kelly, to celebrate the promotion’s 10th birthday.
The news of Andre Galvao fighting ONE Championship double champion Reinier de Ridder for his promotional debut was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: