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Israel Sousa Almeida

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Craig Jones Brand New Instructional

Israel de Sousa Almeida, commonly known as Israel Sousa is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Júlio César Pereira, who worked extensively with Elinor Batista (Israel’s father) and is a representative of the GF Team Academy in the sport’s international circuit. Israel gained notoriety as one of the sport’s hottest prospects in the colored belt divisions of BJJ after his incredible performances at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World and Pan Championships, in which he conquered gold medals.

Israel Sousa Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Israel de Sousa Almeida

Nickname: “Rael” which is short for Israel.

Lineage:  Luis França > Oswaldo Fadda > Monir Salomão > Júlio César > Israel Sousa

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro (2021)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Long Beach Open (2019)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Houston Fall Open (2019)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Las Vegas Summer Open (2019)
  • 2nd Place AJP Grand Slam, LA (2019)
  • 2nd Place AJP Grand Slam, AD (2020)
  • 3rd Place AJP Grand Slam, MSK (2019)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2017 blue, 2019 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship Juvenile (2015)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2016 / 2017 blue, 2019 brown)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2017 blue)
  • 1st Place AJP Grand Slam, LA (2018 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2018 purple)

Favorite Position/Technique: Well Rounded Guard

Weight Division: Peso Pena (70,00 kg / 154.5 lbs)

Team/Association: GF Team

Israel Sousa Biography

Israel de Sousa Almeida was born on April 25, 1998, in Fortaleza, the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará.

With Israel’s father (Elinor Batista) and older brother being big jiu-jitsu enthusiasts and practitioners, it did not come as a surprise when de Sousa asked to start training at the age of 5. The first year Israel’s training was experienced as just another physical activity for him to remain occupied, but after one year passed Almeida’s father decided to sign him up for a competition. A super-fight event that took place in Elinor’s own gym.

Almeida won his super-fight and decided he wanted to compete more often. Unfortunately, he had 4 first-round losses in his following tournaments, which cooled off his training impetus. It would take him over 1 year until he returned to competition and became victorious once again.

As a 13-year-old Israel decided to add judo to his training schedule in trying to improve the throwing aspect of his jiu-jitsu game. Training under Sensei Alex Sampaio, de Sousa competed in 4 judo tournaments at the time, winning 3 of those and losing 1. His loss came via a broken arm while posting to defend a takedown, an injury that set him back substantially, training-wise. Although he re-hashed his judo training at a later stage, he opted to refrain from competing under this ruleset to prevent any injuries that might hinder his career goals in jiu-jitsu.

In 2013 his brother and a teammate went to Rio de Janeiro and trained at GF Team’s headquarters, then establishing a bond with the famous academy. Later that year a few of GFT’s top athletes and coach Julio César came to Fortaleza to compete, further cementing the bond between the two gyms.

As a blue belt, Israel de Sousa started traveling more to compete, making his first trip to the famous Cachanga – GFTs fighter-house in Rio de Janeiro. The experience opened Almeida’s mind and led him to fully embrace the BJJ competitor lifestyle, with plenty of competitions and trips to Rio de Janeiro, and even Ohio (US) to train with the team.

Once Master Julio Cesar decided to move to California, he invited the young Israel Almeida (a purple belt at the time) to come and train full-time with him in Orange County. The young Fortaleza native accepted the offer, being promoted to brown belt on American soil. Unfortunately, as he had been a purple belt for less than 18 months, he could not compete for most of 2018 in the brown belt division.

After the tremendous year of 2019 where Israel de Sousa conquered IBJJF World and Pan championships with flawless performances, Israel was promoted to black belt, in June 2019 by coach Julio César.

Israel Sousa Grappling Record

    22 (58%)
    1 (3%)
    14 (37%)
    1 (3%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
    6 (75%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
    2 (25%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Israel Sousa Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
20678Diego OliveiraDiego OliveiraLReferee DecisionGrand Slam MSK69KGSF2019
21322Richar NogueiraRichar NogueiraLPts: 8x6Las Vegas Open70KGF2019
21559Diego OliveiraDiego OliveiraLPts: 4x2Grand Slam LA69KGF2019
22831Gabriel SousaGabriel SousaLPointsGrand Slam AD69KGF2020
22940Alex SodreAlex SodreLReferee DecisionEuropean Open70KG4F2020
24519Gabriel FigueiroGabriel FigueiroLPts: 2x1Grand Slam RJ69KGF2020
25317Leo SaggioroLeo SaggioroLPts: 3x2Grand Slam AD69KGF2021
27004Brian MahechaBrian MahechaLPts: 5x4Grand Slam MIA69KG4F2021
20675A. MogomadovWPts: 6x0Grand Slam MSK69KG4F2019
20680Victor MatosWPts: 2x0Grand Slam MSK69KGRPC2019
20681A. MogomadovWPts: 6x0Grand Slam MSK69KG3RD2019
21313N/AWChokeLas Vegas Open70KGR12019
21316Bruno BarbosaBruno BarbosaWChoke from backLas Vegas Open70KG4F2019
21321Joao MendesJoao MendesWReferee DecisionLas Vegas Open70KGSF2019
21552Jonathan BurenWPts: 15x0Grand Slam LA69KGR12019
21554Lee TingWPts: 6x2Grand Slam LA69KG4F2019
21557Thiago MacedoThiago MacedoWPts: 0x0, AdvGrand Slam LA69KGSF2019
22091Giovanni CarvalhoWArmbarHouston FO70KGSF2019
22092Thiago MacedoThiago MacedoWPts: 2x0Houston FO70KGF2019
22261Cameron GravesWArmbarLong Beach Open70KGSF2019
22262Brandon WalenskyBrandon WalenskyWArmbarLong Beach Open70KGF2019
22825Ali MonfaradiAli MonfaradiWPts: 7x6Grand Slam AD69KGR12020
22827Ariel TabakWPointsGrand Slam AD69KG4F2020
22830Thiago MacedoThiago MacedoWPts: 5x2Grand Slam AD69KGSF2020
22929Lee RenautWPts: 8x2European Open70KGR12020
24502Murilo AmaralMurilo AmaralWPts: 4x2Grand Slam RJ69KGR12020
24511Luiz PauloLuiz PauloWPts: 3x0Grand Slam RJ69KG8F2020
24516Davi OliveiraWWristlockGrand Slam RJ69KG4F2020
24518Leo SaggioroLeo SaggioroWPts: 4x3Grand Slam RJ69KGSF2020
24865Joao GuilhermeWChoke from backGuarapari Pro69KG4F2021
24867Guilherme RibeiroWArmbarGuarapari Pro69KGSF2021
24918Cristian PolnovWPts: 9x0Brazil Nat. Pro69KGSF2021
24919Alex SodreAlex SodreWPts: 5x2Brazil Nat. Pro69KGF2021
25314Diogo FreitasWChoke from backGrand Slam AD69KG4F2021
25316Gabriel SousaGabriel SousaWPts: 12x1Grand Slam AD69KGSF2021
25412Diogo FreitasWPts: 7x3WP BR Qualifier69KGRR2021
25416Marcio AndreMarcio AndreWPts: 3x1WP BR Qualifier69KGF2021
25456Yaroslav BlazhkoWPts: 6x2World Pro69KGR12021
25459Juan CalderonWPts: 13x1World Pro69KG4F2021
25462Gabriel SousaGabriel SousaWAmericanaWorld Pro69KGSF2021
25464Ali MonfaradiAli MonfaradiWPts: 6x1World Pro69KGF2021
26550Lucas GrippWPts: 17x0Rio Winter Open70KG4F2021
26554Ricardo PrimoWArmbarRio Winter Open70KGSF2021
27010Christian MueckayWChoke from backGrand Slam MIA69KGRPC2021
27012Lucas PinheiroLucas PinheiroWArmbarGrand Slam MIA69KGRPC2021
27013Brian MahechaBrian MahechaWArmbarGrand Slam MIA69KG3RD2021

Israel 2018 Highlight


High Percentage Chokes  Instructional by Lachlan Giles

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