The most heated and captivating rivalry in competition jiu-jitsu just added another chapter. On Monday, FloGrappling reported that Andre Galvao will defend his ADCC Superfight title in 2022, regardless of opponent. This is a change of tune for Galvao, who had previously stated he was retired from competition. The news opens the door for a potential match-up with Gordon Ryan if Ryan is able to get under control the health issues that led to his indefinite leave of absence from competition.
Importantly, Galvao agreed to defend his title on May 1, weeks before Ryan announced his leave of absence. This means that Galvao had, in effect, accepted the match against his longtime rival. But with Ryan’s health status currently up in the air, it’s not yet clear who Galvao will face in 2022.
Also of note, Galvao accepted the match — whoever it may be against — with no special conditions or demands.
For months throughout 2020, Galvao and Ryan beefed online, exchanging taunts and insults while grappling fans were left wondering if the pair would ever meet on the mat. That rivalry came to a head earlier this year, when Ryan twice slapped Galvao as the two traded heated words backstage at a Who’s Number One event. Not long after that altercation, Galvao posted a long video explaining his side of the story and apologizing for his conduct; that video seemed to put the rivalry to bed. Ryan has since detailed his version of events.
Now with Galvao agreeing to defend his ADCC superfight title in 2022, a potential match with Gordon Ryan is very much on the table. Whether that match happens, though, depends on Ryan’s ability to deal with his ongoing health issues that prompted his indefinite leave of absence from competition.