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Athlete Spotlight | Gabriel Sousa

Posted by James Tighe on
Athlete Spotlight | Gabriel Sousa

Hey Gabriel, Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us! Could you just give us a brief bio about yourself, who you are, where you're from, where you train, how you got started Jiu Jitsu, etc….

My name is Gabriel Sousa, I'm a Bjj world champion from Fortaleza,Ceará- Brasil. 

I train in North Carolina at ZR team association. I been into sports, soccer, Capoeira… since a young age, that’s what my mom found to keep us busy and not get involved with nothing wrong since I grow up in a Favela in Brazil, my oldest brother started his Bjj journey on a social project on our city and 3 months he invited me to go with him and i didn’t stop since then. 

Congrats on the amazing performance at ADCC, taking the silver medal. It was the biggest ADCC in history. Can you tell us a bit about the experience? How was your preparation for the tournament and what were some of the highlights for you personally?

Thank you!!! The gold didn’t come yet, but we are working on it for 2024. It was an unreal experience, the event was on another level. I would never imagine something as big as it was, whoever missed the show will forever regret it and the people who were there will never forget! 

As athletes they took great care of all of us, before, during and after the tournament. 

The magnitude and energy of the tournament was crazy. I'm glad I could focus on my matches 100%. It was busy, everyone was shouting and making it exciting and I love ADCC rules.

For ADCC I choose to prepare differently, I used to focus on a competition 5 weeks prior but for the big show I did between 10 to 11 weeks the most important thing we planned every week, my whole team, (S&C, nutritionist, Bjj) to avoid any mistake, it was hard but it was the best preparation of my entire life. 

I trained so much, and I trusted enjoy process. Also one important step I went to NYC to train with the 2X ADCC champ JT Torres, Coach John and the whole essential crew. They took me as a member and pushed me hard so I could reach the next level and I did, I will be forever grateful for what the team did for me!

After the ADCC you will have No gi worlds coming up. Any other competitions that you are thinking about jumping into before the end of the year? Do you find it tough to be this active while many other grapplers are winding down for the year.

For this end of the year it’s the only tournament i have in mind, just got back on training since ADCC. 7 weeks away, plenty of time to be on the same level from the last 

Appearance… 2 big events have contacted me to compete for 2023, January 20th will be one of them and it will be huge, stay tuned! 🚀

Now that you have a few years at black belt, what are some takeaways from this time? Some things that may surprise you the most at the black belt level? 

As the years went by I understood that I needed to take it more and more professionally, diet, training on and off season, physical therapy, sport therapy and the list goes on. 

You will never regret doing a little extra then everybody else. All the hard work and investments $$$ will be worth it.

What has been your most memorable moment at Black Belt?

My biggest accomplishment was World pro at black belt but ADCC has a special one, my run was perfect, I was confident and ready to fight anybody also it’s not every athlete who will be able to compete, it’s only a feel you need to be different to be there and I proved why im at highest level, I deserved to be there! 

Is there another competitor that you are looking forward to competing against?

I want to run the match against the best athletes at 66kg and 70kg Gi and no-gi.

Just send me the contracts and location so we will be ready. 

With the year just starting, what are the big plans and goals for the year?

2023 I will be focus at Gi worlds as my main tournament for the year, I wanna win world in the Gi.


Thank you for reading our latest athlete spotlight!

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