Andre Galvao vs Chael Sonnen: Classic Wrestler vs Jiu-Jitsu in No-Gi Match


See how Andre Galvao uses mid-fight problem solving to slay every BJJ player's boogeyman:

The wrestler that has just enough Jiu-Jitsu knowledge to negate, stall and stay on top. 

Aside from Chael's takedown in the opening seconds, the first half is pretty slow. So skip to 11th minute to start the action and reference the notes below.

BJJ Film Study Notes

[timestamps by clock, not video player]

[19:59] Exaggerated Level Changing. When fighting standup it's a good habit to do exagerated level changes at distance—all the way down to hands and knees. It give you an idea if your opponent plans to match your level. If they don't, it's a signal that you can get easy takedowns, like the ankle pick here

[11:15] Hands on Mat = Opportunity. Galvao was finally able to obtain a double-underhook body lock because Chael's hands were on the mat, outside of Galvao's torso. Without Chael framing inside (like he'd been the entire match), galvao was able to butt scoot, get bottom head position and connect and s-grip.

[10:45] Butterfly to Half guard transition

  • Butterfly Sacrifice. Galvao sacrifices his near side butterfly and fully pulls his hands to the far side of chael's body
  • Not Traditional Half Leg Configuration. Galvao leg curls his left leg to keep Chael on his knees (instead of locking traditional half
  • Work Body Lock down Toward Waist. Galvao works his body log down to Chael's waist by slowly hiking Chael north and climbing his hands south

[10:10] Dogfight Patience and Hand Connection.

  • Leg Scissor Get-up. Galvao slowly continues progress up to his knees using a scissor motion with his bottom leg
  • Half-Plex. Galvao attempts a “Half Plex” to roll Chael Over his body when Chael distributes weight into him
  • Hike 'em North. Galvao disconnects his body lock to opt for a near leg scoop; this makes it more difficult for Galvao to get back up to his knees, but easier to push Chael north, and himself south

[9:07] Patience from Standing. Galvao keeps the leg and allows Chael to make the first move because he knows that Chael is a far more experienced stand-up wrestler. Whatever takedown he would try Chael had liekly seen before. So he waited for Chael to make a mistake which turned out to be a failed “Hit the Switch”

[8:50] Double-Under Back Control instead of Seatbelt. Galvao made a calculated decision to take the back without a seatbelt because many wrestlers defend the back by forcing the opponent to fall off the top

[8:40] Closed-Circuit Back Hooks. Galvao used the hip lock which he first displayed against Rousimare Palhares at ADCC 2011. H knew that the only way to control an explosive grappler from the back was to lock his legs, either with the hip lock or body triangle.

Let me know in the comments below the most game-changing detail you picked up from this match!

  • Avatar

    The double under back control, I’ve had a lot of trouble sliding off the top of people’s backs holding onto a seatbelt

Leave a Comment