Beat The Best: Marcelo Garcia vs. Andre Galvao

Marcelo Garcia & Andre Galvao have met a few times in their careers, with Marcelo winning all of the matches.  There is a method to his approach that can be super effective when competing against someone such as Galvao, who is physically imposing.

By viewing one of their matches, you can see the plan of approach Garcia uses.


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Dealing With Physically Stronger Opponents

When you think of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players that look like they could throw on a pair of shoulder pads and a helmet and hit the football field, you think of someone like Andre Galvao.  A strong, imposing figure, he’s known for his brute strength.

Despite their familiarity with one another, there’s no questioning that Marcelo knew this would be an issue that he would have to deal with head on and stifle if he wished to obtain the victory over one of his rival opponents.

The last thing you want to do is try and go muscle for muscle with these types of grapplers, because if you know that they are stronger than you, then there is no way you can out muscle then straight on.

However, like any good grappler would, Garcia played the angles and used leverage and the displacement of Galvao’s weight to his advantage.

By grabbing hold of his leg in the early going of the match, Marcelo was able to utilize this and soon secure a takedown.  While still dangerous from his back, if you put someone like Andre on the mat, you eliminate some of the threat that his strength presents.

If Garcia was a lightweight grappler, then Galvao would have likely been able to been press him right off of him, however, Garcia is a smart grappler that knows how to use the top position to his advantage and how to win matches with it.andre-galvao


The Benefits Of A Dominant Top Game

Marcelo Garcia is known for having many levels to his game that it’s amazing what he’s known for.  Check out more info on him and his game here. However, the one thing that tends to be mentioned first when discussing his skills is his dominant top game.

In one word, you could describe it as smothering.  Once Garcia gets the top position, he’ll rarely jump right into a submission attempt, trying to end the match as quickly as he possibly can.  More so, he waits, and sees how his opponent reacts to his specific movements.

This is effective in a few different ways: it allows Marcelo time to plan his next move.  From this top position, he can control the pace, and wait for the match to come to him, rather than trying to force something which could turn around and eventually hurt him.

It also takes its toll on the opponent.  They have to deal with their opponent pressing almost all of their weight directly down onto them, while bracing themselves for the next moment in the match.  Not only physically does it affect them, but they also must try and work their way out eventually, because they know that time is of the essence and being on bottom does not look good to the judges.

By the time they do make their move, it’s too late, and Garcia is able to strike and end the match.

Dan Faggella

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