Andres Garcia sent along the following:
Welterweight Andre Galvao focused on DREAM grand prix win; Strikeforce debut looms on horizon
Three bouts into a professional MMA career, grand prix titles and intriguing matchups with the world's best fighters aren't supposed to be an immediate focus.
But when you're a seven-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and your training partners include UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, MMA legend and former PRIDE and UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, DREAM middleweight veteran Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and rising star Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, your goals tend to be set a little higher.
So less than a week after an impressive first-round submission win over 11-year veteran John Alessio in the opening round of the Japanese-based DREAM's welterweight grand prix, undefeated Andre Galvao (3-0) is ready to prove his worth on the world stage.
“I was very happy that everything I had worked on in training I was able to execute in the fight,” Galvao said. “I felt that I trained properly for the fight. Now I'm back from Japan, and I'm already back to training.”
Galvao overwhelmed his Xtreme Couture-trained opponent with slick transitions and powerful submissions to force Alessio to tap at 7:34 of the first round. Now the Brazilian has his sights set even higher.
“I'm excited to get into the semi-final and final round of the DREAM grand prix and, with God permitting, bring this DREAM belt back to Brazil,” Galvao said.
Galvao's manager, Ed Soares, knows a thing or two about top-level MMA. As the manager of several of Galvao's training partners, including current UFC champ Silva, and former UFC and PRIDE champ Nogueira, Soares said he was impressed by his client's April 5 performance.
“Of course I was very happy and very satisfied with Andre winning the fight,” Soares said. “But what I was most surprised with was not necessarily that he got Alessio to the ground, or that when he got him to the ground he submitted him — I thought that was almost expected, just simply because of Andre's aggressive nature and what his accomplishments have been in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“What surprised me was how relaxed and how comfortable Andre was backstage before the fight, especially with it being only his third MMA fight. To walk out to a show like DREAM and perform the way that he did was impressive.”
Galvao is currently in the U.S., training with Silva, Nogueira, Souza, Cavalcante and others at the brand-new Black House training facility in Los Angeles. The submission ace, who has now won his first three bouts by arm-bar, credits his training partners for his calm demeanor heading into the fight with Alessio.
“I felt that with all my training, the biggest factor was being able to train with Anderson and having his reinforcement and help for the past few months in preparing for this fight.
“My stand-up coach Daniel Woirin helped me incorporate my foot movement, my striking and figuring out the distances, and it made me feel very relaxed going into the ring knowing that I'm training and sparring against guys that are much bigger, stronger and more experienced than the opponent I was facing.”
Galvao will return to action on July 20 at DREAM.10. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Jason High and Marius Zaromskis also advanced to the welterweight grand prix finals, and though Galvao does not yet know who he will face at the July event, the 26-year-old is confident he'll be ready.
“With the help of my coaches and my sponsors — Sinister Brand, Posto de Acai, Vinaci and Troia Fightwear — I'll be prepared,” Galvao said. “I just want the world to know that I'm going to go in there in July and give it my all and come back with that DREAM grand prix belt. I want that belt, and that's what I'm focused on.”
Galvao's DREAM.8 bout with Alessio will be broadcast in North America for the first time on Friday, April 10. HDNet airs the event via tape delay beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
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U.S. fans will also be happy to note that Galvao will be looking to bring his submission-saavy game to Strikeforce following his run in the DREAM welterweight grand prix.
Soares explained that his client is looking forward to fighting for the rapidly expanding California-based brand, which on Saturday will hold its first event since the acquisition of many key ProElite contracts.
“Andre is currently signed to both Strikeforce and DREAM,” Soares said. “Strikeforce let Andre go and fight in the DREAM tournament, but he has a contract already signed with Strikeforce.
“He's very excited about fighting for Strikeforce, but thankful that Strikeforce was kind enough to loan him to DREAM for its welterweight grand prix.”
Galvao is currently working on obtaining a Green Card that would allow him to relocate to the U.S. full-time. Galvao hopes to then use his time in Strikeforce to prove the value of his world-class jiu-jitsu to U.S. fans.
“Sometimes the U.S. fans prefer the knockouts, but that's one of my goals in MMA: I want to show my worth in jiu-jitsu and how effective it is in MMA,” Galvao said. “A lot of people think that jiu-jitsu is boring, and I want to show that I can finish fights in a very exciting fashion using my jiu-jitsu.”