Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie faced one another in the co-main event of Metamoris 1 on October 14th, 2012 and the match garnered a lot of attention for several reasons. One of them was simply because of the fact that it was part of a stacked card that changed the face of professional grappling forever. Up until this point, BJJ matches were almost exclusively conducted as part of tournaments that athletes often paid to enter. Superfights happened but they were pretty rare and the idea of an entire card full of superfights was practically unheard of at the time.
It wasn’t just that though, as the match between Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie was marketed in a very particular way though. Andre Galvao was the reigning ADCC double champion and a multiple-time IBJJF world champion, so he was at the very top of his game at the time. Ryron Gracie on the other hand had the history of the Gracie family behind him, but his competitive experience was pretty limited and he was well-known for being against the points system used in BJJ. This meant that the submission-only match between the two would be an interesting opportunity to see how both men would fare against a new challenge.
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Andre Galvao v Ryron Gracie – Metamoris 1
The match started out slow at first, with both men looking very calm on the mats. They were fighting for grips and Ryron attempted a footsweep that off-balanced Galvao, but not enough to take him down. Galvao returned the favor and off-balanced Ryron with his grips, taking immediate advantage by securing the takedown and landing in half-guard. Galvao passed almost immediately, standing and stepping over a butterfly hook with relative ease in order to get to side control. Andre Galvao stepped over into north-south, but Ryron Gracie briefly turned to turtle to force him to transition to side control on the other side.
Ryron was doing a good job of not getting flattened out initially, but Galvao used heavy top-pressure to prevent him from re-guarding and eventually drive him to his back. Ryron managed to create enough space from there to invert and recover guard, with Galvao standing to pass once he’d lost full control. A quick toreando pass almost worked, with Ryron having to settle for a smashed saddle position in order to prevent it. Galvao looped his opponent’s lapel around his back and started forcing shoulder pressure to try to finish the pass. Ryron managed to use that pressure against Galvao and swept him, but Galvao immediately stood up to prevent him from securing position.
They returned to gripfighting but they were both a lot less relaxed than at the start of the match. Ryron pulled guard this time but Galvao resumed his heavy pressure-passing. After a few attempts Galvao managed to step into mount and quickly switched to knee on belly to solidify the pass. Ryron tried to re-guard again when he had a little bit of space but Galvao was quick to shut it down this time. Galvao transitioned around his opponent’s escape attempts and started to untuck his lapel in order to set up a baseball bat choke from knee on belly. Ryron Gracie attempted to recover guard again but Andre Galvao was keeping up the steady pressure that allowed him to maintain top position.
Eventually Ryron did work his way back to butterfly guard but Galvao popped up to his feet and managed to force his way into half-guard. Galvao got the cross-face and used it to pass into side control, before transitioning between top positions in order to maintain control again. Galvao started working to set up a choke but Ryron turned to turtle to defend it and capitalized on the momentum to recover closed guard. Galvao tried to get a double-under pass to work but he had to abandon that and return to standing instead. A few brief passing attempts didn’t work and one particular attempt resulted in Ryron getting control of one of Galvao’s legs.
Ryron used that grip and a butterfly hook to off-balance Galvao and get an entry to single-leg x, going belly-down with it when Galvao tried to escape. He couldn’t get any good bite on the ankle though and Galvao turned away to free his knee before facing Ryron again to continue passing. Andre Galvao started working his passing a lot faster than before and Ryron Gracie was matching that pace, denying his attempts. After several attempts, Galvao disengaged and Ryron stood back up to meet him. They started gripfighting again and Ryron tried a few footsweeps but couldn’t land anything, before he resorted to pulling closed guard. Galvao stood to break the guard but before he could secure the pass, Ryron worked his way to his feet again.
Galvao pulled guard this time as he accepted bottom position for the first time in their match. Ryron briefly tried to pass but Galvao stood back up for a short time, before pulling guard again. Ryron stood up to pass and Galvao immediately swept him overhead, frantically trying to pass. Both men returned to their feet but Galvao pulled guard shortly after, sweeping Ryron overhead for the second time. He wasn’t able to take top position this time and started working from butterfly guard instead. Ryron tried to attack the ankle but Galvao countered and got sight of his back, eventually continuing the motion and ending up on top.
The match wound down with him working to pass again and as it had reached the 20 minute time-limit, Andre Galvao v Ryron Gracie was ruled a draw. Although there was no official winner declared, both men drew their own positives from the match and their performances in it. Galvao had repeatedly passed his opponent’s guard and dominated the majority of the match from any perspective, whereas Ryron did what he claimed he set out to do and survived an entire match with the best BJJ competitor on the planet at the time.
The full match between Andre Galvao and Ryron Gracie from Metamoris 1 was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Metamoris: