Otávio Sousa: "This Is Only The Beginning"

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It is only the beginning of where I want to get, I am still very young and I have a career ahead of what I enjoy the most and devote myself completely to win many victories.

My name is Otavio Sousa, I'm a black belt first dan under my teacher Zé Radiola black belt who is black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. I am 26 years old and started training jiu jitsu since childhood. With only 13 years old, a good friend of mine introduced me to jiu jitsu taking me to Gracie Barra Pernambuco, where I had the opportunity to meet my teacher and be part of this team I love so much and of which I am proud to defend the flag. Through jiu jitsu, I could travel the world and meet other people, different cultures and make friendships that I will keep forever. Jiu jitsu is everything for me. I am very happy to be able to devote myself to the maximum and live with what I love most. Currently I teach at Gracie Barra headquarters in Irvine CA and it is where I do all my preparation for competition.

"I fought with the toughest guys"

At the 2013 Worlds, I had a total of 5 fights where I fought the toughest guys, but I was not expecting anything different. Rather, I knew it would not be easy, so I trained and prepared myself to be at my best and be able to reach the end of the championship still strong. Thank God, I was able to dominate all my fights and finishing two of them by submission and the others on points. I'm very excited to be able to have me become champion for the second time in a division that is considered the most difficult and disputed of all.
Here are a few of the names that I had to go through to become champion: Gabriel Rollo of Checkmat; Davi Ramos of Atos; Victor Henrique GFTeam and Cláudio Calasans of Atos. This year, eventually repeating the end of last year when I also fought against Calasans to climb on the highest step of the podium!
It is only the beginning of where I want to get. I am still very new and I have a career ahead of what I enjoy the most and devote myself completely to win many victories. I am very grateful for everything that my teacher taught me and supported me throughout my career, my family who always gave me full support and of course to my training partners and my students because without them, I wouldn't have managed it all.


During my first fight, I finished my opponent from the mount, I put him in an omoplata in the beginning, managed to sweep him. From there I manage to end up on top kneading my opponent in half guard. I went straight to mount adjusting the position and made an attack I like to use a lot in this position. I climbed up in the mount and crossed his two arms to finish the armbar.

Gabriel Rollo

In the second fight, I was against Gabriel Rollo of Checkmat, who was by the way one of my most difficult fight. As I had said before, there is no softness even in the early fights at middleweight. Every fight was like a final.
I started by pulling guard and he was already posturing up to try to open my guard. I managed to close my secret weapon that is the omoplata. I use this technique since childhood and the most interesting is that everyone already knows what I will do and they end up falling in it. He stood up to defend but the position was very tight and I knew it was a matter of time until he gave up standing up and put his knee on the ground. Said and done, when he began to decline with the posture I started grabbing at his belt and trying to finish the fight.
Not to tap on the omoplata, he was forced to give up the position and got swept. But I do this technique for quite some time and I am very confident in taking this position. I decided not to complete the sweep and tried to finish the fight so I kept rolling and followed the movement to get the inverted crucifix omoplata, so every time he turned I rotated along with him. But he began to spin out of the area where I ended up weighing on his legs. I thought the judge should have started the fight again in the same position as I was already crushing his legs to pass guard, but the judge decided to restart the fight standing giving me the points for the sweep! I pulled again, he began to pressure trying to pass my guard where I ended up in 50/50 to sweep where he fell trying to catch my foot.
I defended and got out of the 50/50 giving a spin attacking a leg lock. It became very stretched, for a second I thought the fight would end there but he is a flexible and managed to get out the submission. I ended up getting on bottom and him with 2 points. I ended up winning on points.

Davi Ramos

My quarter-final was against David Ramos of Atos. He is very dangerous with his footlocks and leg locks. But I was well aware of his attacks and I could defend every time he tried to attack my legs. I stood up, but I knew he does these attacks very well so I changed my game a bit. I started passing with my knees on the floor with heavy hips and defending his berimbolo every time he tried to curl underneath me. So I was putting pressure on his guard until I got through his guard and got his back.
At the end of the fight I still managed to get hold of a choke. There was little time before the end and I did not want to spend my energy because I knew I still had a lot to do ahead and was already winning with a great advantage.

Vitor Henrique

I fought in the semi-final against Vitor Henrique from GFTeam who by the way is a very strong and very talented athlete. We had fought before in other tournaments' finals where we had some tough fights.
The first time I was confronted to him was at the end of the juvenile blue belt at the Brazilian nationals where I became the 3x brazilian champion and the second time was in the final of the Chicago Open where I also became champion after a very tight fight.

This time, thank God, I left victorious once again surprising him in an armlock.
The fight started and I got distracted. He feinted the sweep but I ended up pulling to a very accurate armlock. I was very happy after this fight because after I was in the final once again for the second consecutive year. Just waiting for the winner of the fight between my friend and training partner Victor Estima and Claudio Calasans. I was hoping to close the division with my teammate Victor Estima but Calasans ended up winning the other semi final. I ended up making the final against Calasans again.

Final: Cláudio Calasans

In the final against Calasans, it was the same war as ever. Thank god I dominated the fight more than the last time and I turned the score around at the very end. This time was different and ended up winning with a greater difference in points.
He tried to do everything in the fight. Berimbolo, jumped to one side and to the other trying to get my back attacking my neck but I didn't fall in his game. I defended ensuring straight points without letting him tighten his position too much.

It was amazing and unexplainable how I felt when I won that day! The feeling of mission accomplished and a job done was very good indeed. I can only thank everyone who supported me and helped me to achieve what I have achieved.

More about Otávio Sousa on: http://www.bjjheroes.com/bjj-fighters/otavio-sousa