BJJ Legends: Andre Galvao
If you have any knowledge about the top competitors and coaches in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you have undoubtedly heard of Andre Galvao.
Galvao is the founder and head coach of Atos Jiu Jitsu, headquartered in San Diego, California, USA. He currently holds a 4th degree black belt under his instructor Luis Dagmar in addition to a black belt in Judo.
Andre Galvao Biography and Competitive History
Andre Galvao was born in Sao Paulo Brazil in 1982. He started BJJ as a teenager and it was rapidly apparent that he was an exceptional grappler and athlete. Although he started training under Luis Dagmar, Dagmar advised Galvao to train under Fernando Terere after his skills and potential became apparent. Galvao trained extensively with Terere until Terere ended up leaving the sport due to unrelated personal and legal issues.
As a purple belt, Galvao was undefeated and was the first to win the so-called “IBJJF Grand Slam,” which requires winning gold in the IBJJF World Championship, the Pan American Championship, and the Brazilian National Championship.
Andre Galvao first won the IBJJF world black belt title in 2005, and would go on to win it again in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
Although Galvao is known primarily for his accomplishments in sport BJJ, he had a relatively short but successful career as a mixed martial artist, fighting in the Dream and Strikeforce MMA promotions between the years 2008 and 2010.
Galvao retired with a respectable professional record of 5 wins and 2 losses, including 1 victory by technical knockout (TKO) and 3 by submission.
In 2018, Galvao announced his retirement from BJJ competition but continues to coach an impressive roster of elite BJJ and MMA athletes out of his Atos HQ Academy.
Andre Galvao Statistics
Although Galvao has competed in several weight classes as well as in high level open weight divisions.
In MMA, Galvao fought in the 170 pound welterweight division with a southpaw stance.
He typically competes in the 195 pound division in professional BJJ.
At 5 foot 11 inches Galvao is a muscular competitor known for his aggressive guard passing and impressive number of submission victories across a range of matches.
According to BJJ Heroes, Galvao’s total BJJ record includes 157 total wins with 73 wins via submission. His total losses are 27 across his competitive career, with only 4 losses coming via submission.
Although Galvao has hit a wide range of submissions in competition, his top submissions are chokes from the back and armbars, with 17 submissions coming from back chokes and 12 from armbar, respectively.
Notable Students of Andre Galvao
Andre Galvao has coached a number of high profile BJJ and mixed martial arts athletes including Keenan Cornelius, Mike Perez, and Israel Adesanya, to name just a few.
Andre Galvao Controversies
Like many high profile BJJ athletes, Galvao has a few notable rivalries. In his early black belt competitor days, he had a high profile feud with Ricardo Abreu and Tarsis Humphreys.
More recently, video emerged of elite competitor Gordon Ryan slapping Galvao during a backstage altercation at WNO: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junio.
Galvao released a statement following the event apologizing for his part in the incident and proclaiming his involvement in the drama was a mistake.
Andre Galvao Full Black Belt Title Awards
According to the Atos HQ Website, Galvao’s competitive BJJ accomplishments include the following:
- 5 time World Champion IBJJF (2017, 2016, 2014, 2008 & 2005);
- 5 time ADCC World Champion (2011 weight & absolute, 2013, 2015 & 2017 super fight champion);
- 10 time Pan American Champion IBJJF (2005, 2008 weight/absolute, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2014 weight/absolute, 2016, 2017);
- 3 times World Pro Cup Champion (2012, 2013, 2014 UAEJJ)
- World Cup CBJJO Champion (2006)
- 2 time European IBJJF Champion (2015 weight/absolute)
- Worlds CBJJE Champion (2008)
- Ultimate Absolute NYC – No Gi Champion (2011)
- Metamoris 4 – Super Fight Champ Main Event (Galvao vs Sonnen)
- Metamoris 2 – Super Fight Champ (Galvao vs Lovato Jr)
- Fight2WinPro Super Fight Main Event Champ (Galvao vs Bastos)
- Berkut 2 Moscow Super Fight Main Event Champ (Galvao vs Barral)
Andre Galvao Biography: conclusion
Although there is no shortage of legends in BJJ, Andre Galvao has certainly carved out his space in the BJJ history books.
With an impressive career as both a competitor and coach, as well as the head of a major successful BJJ affiliation, Galvao has proved his mettle across the most relevant and important aspects of the BJJ world.
Regardless of whether you are new to BJJ or a longtime practitioner, Andre Galvao is a name you should recognize.