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.
- 1st Place IBJJF Long Beach Open (2019)
- 1st Place IBJJF Houston Fall Open (2019)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Las Vegas Summer Open (2019)
- 2nd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, LA (2019)
- 3rd Place UAEJJF 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 UAEJJF 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
- BY DQ
5 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
0 SUBMISSION LOSSES
Israel Sousa Fight History
|20369||Diego OliveiraDiego Oliveira||L||Referee Decision||Grand Slam MSK||69KG||SF||2019|
|20955||Richar NogueiraRichar Nogueira||L||Pts: 8x6||Las Vegas Open||70KG||F||2019|
|21175||Diego OliveiraDiego Oliveira||L||Pts: 4x2||Grand Slam LA||69KG||F||2019|
|20366||A. Mogomadov||W||Pts: 6x0||Grand Slam MSK||69KG||4F||2019|
|20371||Victor Matos||W||Pts: 2x0||Grand Slam MSK||69KG||RPC||2019|
|20372||A. Mogomadov||W||Pts: 6x0||Grand Slam MSK||69KG||3RD||2019|
|20946||N/A||W||Choke||Las Vegas Open||70KG||R1||2019|
|20949||Bruno BarbosaBruno Barbosa||W||Choke from back||Las Vegas Open||70KG||4F||2019|
|20954||Joao MendesJoao Mendes||W||Referee Decision||Las Vegas Open||70KG||SF||2019|
|21168||Jonathan Buren||W||Pts: 15x0||Grand Slam LA||69KG||R1||2019|
|21170||Lee Ting||W||Pts: 6x2||Grand Slam LA||69KG||4F||2019|
|21173||Thiago MacedoThiago Macedo||W||Pts: 0x0, Adv||Grand Slam LA||69KG||SF||2019|
|21625||Giovanni Carvalho||W||Armbar||Houston FO||70KG||SF||2019|
|21626||Thiago MacedoThiago Macedo||W||Pts: 2x0||Houston FO||70KG||F||2019|
|21762||Cameron Graves||W||Armbar||Long Beach Open||70KG||SF||2019|
|21763||Brandon WalenskyBrandon Walensky||W||Armbar||Long Beach Open||70KG||F||2019|
Israel 2018 Highlight