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ONE X: Andre Galvao ready to showcase grappling skills against MMA star Reinier de Ridder

andre-galvao

Andre Galvao won't let anyone's reputation or stature intimidate him – and that extends to undefeated two-division ONE world champion Reinier de Ridder.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend will give up nearly a foot of height to the Dutch MMA star when they collide in a middleweight submission grappling match at "ONE X: Part I" this Saturday. 

But while de Ridder effectively combines his length with black belts in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the 39-year-old Brazilian plans to show that size doesn't necessarily matter in this discipline.

"I feel like (de Ridder is) a guy that controls all his opponents in grappling," Galvao said. 

"Pretty much, when you take people down, you dominate them. He likes to take (their) back and all that, but I'm used to fighting bigger opponents because I'm like 5-foot-8, and he's like 6-foot-4, right? He's way taller than me, but we have the same weight, so it's going to be interesting, but I see myself always attacking him and making him really uncomfortable the whole time."

Galvao has reason to feel confident ahead of this battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The California-based fighter is a seven-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion who owns a jaw-dropping 160-29-1 record in the grappling arts.

With all that experience – and after researching de Ridder's grappling tendencies in MMA – "Deco" thinks he's spotted a few weak points in the Dutchman's game.

Moreover, he believes his opponent's size could actually lead to his downfall in this contest.

"I noticed that he exposed his back a lot, so I'll go for that, and if not, I'll find different ways to get a submission and close the space because he has very long limbs," Galvao said. "He likes to work with the arm-triangles, D'Arce (chokes) and all that because of his long limbs, and a lot of body locks. He has a little bit of judo as well, a good standup. So, he's going to be very interesting, but I will overcome this challenge. I'm confident, I'm well-trained, and I want to get the sub."

Could Galvao's next fight come in MMA?

While Galvao is facing MMA star de Ridder in a submission grappling match at ONE X, he intends to make a jump to the all-encompassing sport in the near future.

When Galvao signed with ONE Championship last November, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that the Brazilian hulk would compete in both submission grappling and mixed martial arts.

The man known as "Deco" recently echoed that sentiment – even suggesting that he and de Ridder could eventually meet under different circumstances.

"This fight is 100 percent grappling, and maybe one day, we can fight him in MMA as well, you know?" Galvao said. "He's the double-champ, and I know I'm just getting there. I have a long way to go, but as I said, my (immediate) goal is to go out there, finish the fight, and get (the) submission. And after that, you guys will see what is the next one for Andre Galvao in ONE Championship."

The Brazilian would love to pick up where he left off in MMA, as he earned five victories and an 80 percent finishing rate in the sport before taking an extended break over the past decade. 

But Galvao has remained dedicated to the craft during that time, and even now, he's working specifically on his MMA skills two-to-three times per week. 

Despite his age and lack of recent competition, the veteran feels prepared to make a final run toward the top – and it doesn't matter whether he faces de Ridder or somebody else to reach that point.

"I feel like I still have some gas (left) in my tank," Galvao said. "You know, even though I'm 39 years old, I feel like I'm doing well. I'm doing really well, so I'm ready to fight anyone."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.