Grappling Bulletin: Mica Galvao Subs Hulk & Beats Leandro, Win BJJ Stars

At just 18 years old, Mica Galvao is already one of the most talked about athletes in jiu-jitsu. If you thought the attention he received was unwarranted, the events of the past weekend would have dispelled those doubts.

Galvao emerged victorious in the hyper-competitive 8-man BJJ Stars GP, beating two world champions in the process. Read on for a breakdown of Galvao’s performance and a sequel assessment for the young star.

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Mica Galvao wins the BJJ Stars, Worlds & ADCC Next?

The final between Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa and Mica Galvao seemed to be decided on a decision. Time was ticking, it was tied on the scoreboard and it was hard to pick a winner. Nothing happened until the very last minute of the match, when Galvao countered one of Hulk’s takedown attempts, strapped himself to his back, and strangled him with a bow and arrow. It was a stunning submission, an early submission contender of the year, and the perfect end to the biggest win of Galvao’s career.

Mica Galvao was the second favorite to win the BJJ Stars after Huk, and they fortuitously landed on opposite sides of the bracket. The draw put Mica against Leandro Lo in the first round, and while Lo isn’t quite at the top of his game like he used to be, he’s still more than capable of slapping the youngsters and showing why he is one of the most successful competitors. of the last decade.

Galvao wisely tied Lo up and had him defend the closed guard attacks, earning a convincing decision. His second round match was against Mauricio Oliveira, who some may remember as the man who knocked Mica out of the BJJ Bet no-gi Grand Prix in 2021. An unfortunate knee injury interrupted the match and Mica sat down. is qualified for the final with Hulk, who had beaten Roberto Jimenez (on points) and Leo Lara (armlock) to conquer this side of the support.

It’s rare to see the entire jiu-jitsu community react so positively to a result. There was near-universal praise for Mica’s performance, and there are few people in the jiu-jitsu world who don’t know his name. From winning the ADCC trials in Brazil to BJJ stars, Mica Galvao is one of the new faces of modern jiu-jitsu: he is humble, hardworking, incredibly skilled, disciplined, professional and successful.

It’s hard to compare Mica Galvao’s conquest because few people have done what he did. Going from a juvenile competitor to a world-class black belt in the span of a few years isn’t unheard of, but it’s rare. With this performance, Galvao went above and beyond and announced himself as one of the best black belts in the world. The question is where does it go from here? The calendar is busy and many events are on the horizon. Let’s take a look at the sequel.

We haven’t seen him in Pans, but he signed up for the Brazilian IBJJF National Championships next week. It’s a tight turnaround from last weekend’s event, but he might have to go. At the moment, he has 27 points and he needs 36 to sign up for the Worlds, which will take place in early June.

Galvao has yet to compete in the Brazilian Nationals as a black belt and while the tournament isn’t as competitive as it once was, he’s still a valuable title for any black belt’s resume. More importantly, a medal at Brasileiros will unlock the ability to compete at Worlds and that’s the real focus here.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Mica Galvao just beat two world champions in one night. If he can do it, winning Worlds is within the realm of possibility. And then all attention will turn to the ADCC in September, where he is already qualified. If he were to win this too when he was still only 18, he would have achieved something truly unique. That’s why watching Mica Galvao in 2022 is non-negotiable.


Grappling News Roundup

Read on for a breakdown of top news from around the world of jiu-jitsu and grappling.

Gutemberg and Bia Mesquita shine with No-Gi subs at BJJ Stars

  • ADCC South American Trials winner Gutemberg Pereira showed off his no-gi skills by blowing Fellipe Andrew out of the water, submitting him in just 25 seconds with a guillotine choke.
  • 2017 ADCC champion Beatriz Mesquita looked solid in her return to no-gi with a submission win over Julie Boscher. Mesquita used an armbar from the top position to end the match.
  • Felipe Pena struggled against South American Trials winner Henrique Ceconi, unable to get an attack on his elusive opponent and winning by two penalty points.
  • Fabrício Andrey won a 0-0 game against the wary Alex Sodre but nearly ended it via a spectacular jumping armbar.

Introducing ADCC rules matches to BJJ Stars was the perfect way to take recent South American Trials winners and give them some extra experience under the rules set against tough opponents. Pereira and Andrey pulled it off with flying colors, and while Ceconi lost to Pena, he made the former ADCC champion look very pedestrian. If Felipe Pena hopes to perform in the +99kg division in September, he will need to step up his game.

Watch all BJJ Stars matches here

Demian Maia returns to grappling after 15 years

  • Former UFC title challenger Demian Maia won via submission to the BJJ Stars, finishing Alex Cowboy Oliveira with a triangle choke.
  • It was Maia’s first grappling match since winning ADCC gold in 2007, 15 years ago.
  • The black belt used a leg lock attack to sweep and mount Oliveira in the middle of the game, but the triangle came from the guard just over three minutes into the game.

Now 44, Maia’s grappling skills looked sharper than ever as she tapped Oliveira, 10 years her junior. Maia has always been one of the top jiu-jitsu representatives in MMA, compiling a 28-11 record with 14 submission wins.

Watch Demian Maia vs. Cowboy here

Jansen Gomes defeats Erberth Santos in a professional tournament

  • Competing in the Warrior Jiu-Jitsu Championship’s 16-man invitational open weight division, Checkmat’s Jansen Gomes had to beat a string of tough heavyweights to win the $3,000 cash prize.
  • The biggest name the rookie faced was fearsome 2017 IBJJF World Champion Erberth Santos. Gomes won that quarter-final game via an overtime strikeout.
  • Other opponents including ultra heavyweight Austin Baker in the final and UFC heavyweight fighter Jared Vanderaa in the first round.

Promoted to black belt last December, Jansen Gomes was on our list of rookies to watch in 2022. The brown belt world champion is one of Checkmat’s next generation athletes and this performance shows he is ready to take on greater challenges. He lost to Leandro at Pans, but let’s see what that win will do for his confidence ahead of Worlds next month.

Gordon Ryan health update

  • The numbers are looking good for Gordon Ryan, who has shared the latest test results for his ongoing health issues.
  • Undergoing intensive treatment for issues related to his gastrointestinal tract, Ryan says his last follow-up with his doctor was “honestly one of the happiest days I’ve had in my entire life”.
  • After four years of significant health issues that impacted his performance, Ryan says he is “half better” and has between 6 and 12 months to go before a full recovery.

Much has been made of Gordon’s ongoing health issues, but few understand the complexity of his issues, including several doctors. He’s finally found a specialist whose health is moving in the right direction and his recent demeanor and performance in competition and in the gym point to a new, improved version of Gordon Ryan. Although his body has been holding him back, he has made progress in his technique over the past two years and if the physical component remains strong, we could see a truly terrifying athlete at the ADCC in September.

The countdown to IBJJF Worlds

We kicked off our annual Road to Worlds series with a quick visit to New Wave jiu-jitsu where Nicholas Meregali trains in the gi with three-time ADCC gold medalist Gordon Ryan. Meregali was taking things easy, but if you’ve ever wanted to see Gordon throw himself into the gi, now’s your chance.

LR: Johnatha Alves, Gui Mendes, Tainan Dalpra and Thalison

Thalison Soares has arrived in California and will train for the Worlds at the Mendes Brothers’ Art of Jiu-Jitsu. The black belt bantamweight decamped from his home in Australia for a training camp under the supervision of Gui Mendes and has this to say about the unexpected move: “

“Gui has always been a mentor to me, I have known him since I was 15. He and his brother are an inspiration. My school is inspired by them, they are doing a great job with Tainan, John To be able to train with them is super good, because we are the same age and we had a similar journey to the color belts. I looked for the best for me and my future, so it there’s no one better than someone who has done it, is doing it now and will do it for the future as well.”

In case you missed it

We scoured the databases for a study on fencing in jiu-jitsu, you can find the full article here and it makes for interesting reading. Over 13% of IBJJF Major Finals over the past 12 years have been closed, but that’s not all – find out which athletes, teams and even divisions have led the way with the most closures. Moreover, who doesn’t liquidate.

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