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

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Watch how Andre Galvao deals with Chael Sonnen, who in many ways represents every BJJ player's boogeyman:

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

Aside from Chael Sonnen'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 Notes from Chael Sonnen vs Andre Galvao

[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. Andre Galvao was finally able to obtain a double-underhook body lock because Chael Sonnen'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. Andre Galvao sacrifices his near side butterfly and fully pulls his hands to the far side of Chael Sonnen's body
  • Not Traditional Half Leg Configuration. Andre Galvao leg curls his left leg to keep Chael Sonnen on his knees (instead of locking traditional half
  • Work Body Lock down Toward Waist. Andre Galvao works his body log down to Chael Sonnen's waist by slowly hiking Chael north and climbing his hands south

[10:10] Dogfight Patience and Hand Connection.

  • Leg Scissor Get-up. Andre Galvao slowly continues progress up to his knees using a scissor motion with his bottom leg
  • Half-Plex. Andre Galvao attempts a “Half Plex” to roll Chael Sonnen Over his body when Chael distributes weight into him
  • Hike 'em North. Andre 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 Sonnen north, and himself south

[9:07] Patience from Standing. Andre Galvao keeps the leg and allows Chael Sonnen 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. Andre 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. Andre 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!

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

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