Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

Otavio Sousa is a Gracie Barra representative and one of the top fighters in jiu jitsu’s middleweight division. A BJJ black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior, Otavio Sousa spent most of his jiu jitsu education with coach ‘Zé Radiolaat the Gracie Academy in Recife. After being hinted as the “next big thing” for BJJ in 2007, Otavio Sousa spent some time falling short on this tag; however, in 2012 Sousa appeared stronger then ever at the World Jiu Jitsu Championship, winning gold at the middleweight division.

Otavio Sousa Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Otávio Ferreira de Sousa

Nickname: Although seldom used, ‘The Steamroller’ has been mentioned as a nickname by some of the media, this would be due to his strength and the fast pace he usually imposes in his fights.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Otavio Sousa

Main Achievements:

  • World Champion (2013, 2012, 2007 – brown absolute)
  • Pan American Champion (2010)
  • New York Open Champion (2012)
  • Las Vegas Open Champion (2011)
  • World Silver Medallist (2014, 2007 brown)
  • World Nogi Silver Medallist (2009)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2009 absolute, 2008, 2007 brown)
  • Brazilian National Silver Medallist (2004 purple)
  • European Open Silver Medallist (2008, 2007 brown)
  • World Bronze Medallist (2009, 2008)
  • World Nogi Bronze Medallist (2011)
  • Pan American Bronze Medallist (2011)

Favourite Position/Technique: Omoplata

Weight Division: Peso Médio (82kg/181lbs)

Team/Association: Gracie Barra

Otavio Sousa Biography

Otavio Sousa was born on July 1986 in Recife, state of Pernambuco, Brazil. He started training jiu jitsu when he was 13 years old, after an invitation from a friend who already trained at Recife’s Gracie Barra head quarters. The Gracie Barra – Recife is a jiu jitsu academy led by José Olímpio, also known as “Zé Radiola”, a charismatic figure that has developed several highly talented athletes in jiu jitsu, namely: Braulio Estima, Victor Estima, Bruno Alves to mention a few.

At the Gracie Barra academy, Otavio Sousa became one of the main names in the lower ranks of BJJ earning himself several titles, including a word championship in 2007 as a brown belt. After his win at the Mundial de Jiu Jitsy, Otavio Sousa earned his black bet from the hands of Carlinhos Gracie, the main man of the Gracie Barra franchise; though Otavio Sousa was mainly coached by José Olímpio, it is common practice within the Gracie Barra household that the founder of the academy hands the black belts.

The following year after the win at the World Championships, Otavio Sousa was pointed by the media as the man to beat, however, things did not work out for Otavio straight away. Instead he spent a few years falling short of the top spot in the main events of the BJJ calendar. In 2012 however, this would change, and Otavio Sousa finally achieved the sought out gold medal in the Mundial once again, this time at black belt.

After receiving his black belt, Otavio Sousa was invited to lead the Gracie Barra Academy in Irvine, California. Sousa worked there a few years, but ended unexpectedly fired by E-mail while on vacation, by the gym’s owner Chris Pizzo. The reason for the dismissal (according Pizzo) was the fact Octavio ​​spent too much time competing and giving seminars not dedicating enough effort to the gym, although this was debated by many of the students that left the academy with their instructor, including famous ‘Budo’ Jake, sports commentator and CEO of the company BudoVideos.

Banner photograph taken from Gracie Mag.

Otavio Sousa vs Junior Santos

Otavio Sousa vs Gustavo Campos

Otavio Sousa vs N/A

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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