Micael Galvao – one of the most exciting prospects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu today – competed against some of the world’s best black belts at the “Evolve Ur Game 2” competition on June 12.
Even though he is just 17 years old and still a brown belt, Galvao managed to defeat Damien Nitkin and Tainan Dalpra, ultimately losing to Johnatha Alves in the finals.
In a recent appearance on the Open Guardcast podcast, Nitkin described what it felt like to grapple against the young athlete:
The strength wasn’t as big a difference as I thought. We all weighed in, we all got to scope out everybody and see what kind of shape everybody is in…
He looked like he should be very strong. He’s just starting to get that man strength, at 17-18 years old. But I think I’ve definitely had opponents that have felt stronger.
So if it isn’t due to the strength advantage, what is it that makes Micael Galvao so good in competition?
I just think, if anything, his timing was good and how tight he was. Once he got the sweep, he was fundamentally on point with keeping his knees pinched, not worrying so much about crossing his feet.
He made sure to take away things from me slowly and patiently, which shows a lot of knowledge he’s acquired from training so long at such a young age. He’s not rushing things. He wasn’t being impulsive. He was inching towards victory, which is good.
Damien Nitkin is the head instructor and co-owner of Atlas Grappling in Las Vegas, NV.