Roosevelt Sousa is a professional grappler and a former volleyball player who made a name for himself in the sport of jiu-jitsu, competing in the ultra-heavyweight division. A very dynamic athlete, particularly for a large man, Roosevelt became widely recognized as one of the top competitors of his generation through his performances in the colored belt divisions of the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) circuit, particularly as a brown belt when he submitted important names such as Mason Fowler, Roberto Jimenez, Matheus Luna, Giancarlo Bodoni, and others.
Roosevelt Sousa Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Roosevelt Sousa
- 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro (2018 purple)
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2019 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2019 brown)
- 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2016 blue)
- 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2019** brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals NoGi (2019 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF South American Championship (2016 blue)
- 1st Place NEOJJ Norte-Nordeste Championship (2018 brown)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2019* brown)
- 2nd Place IBJJF South Brazilian Championship (2016 blue)
- 2nd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, AD (2017 purple)
Favorite Position/Technique: Back Attacks
Weight Division: Pesadíssimo (over 100,50 kg / 222.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Fight Sports
Roosevelt Sousa Biography
Roosevelt Sousa was born on March 11, 1993, in João Pessoa, a city located near the mouth of the Paraíba River in the Northeastern Brazilian state of Paraíba.
Roosevelt’s path in competitive sports began by way of volleyball, a sport Sousa started at the age of 17. Already 193cm at the time (6 foot 3), the Paraíba native quickly made a name for himself, playing for 4 years in both the indoor and beach strands of the sport.
Although talented, by the time he hit the 20YO mark, Roosevelt was struggling to break through as a volleyball player at the highest level. Coincidently, at the time, a friend of Sousa invited him to come to a jiu-jitsu class to try it out. Once he did, on his birthday (2014), Roosevelt immediately felt a great connection with the gi and decided to continue.
Iuri Alves was Roosevelt Sousa’s first instructor and the man who guided the grappler through all belt ranks. In 2018, however, Mr. Alves moved to the United Arab Emirates, leaving his pupil behind.
After his instructor moved to the Middle East, Sousa continued working with another local coach and in 2019, decided to try and make a run towards the World title, a tournament held in California. To finance his trip to the US, Roosevelt opted to sell water bottles on the street. At the time the news of Sousa’s entrepreneurial mindset reached a few members of the BJJ community outside of his circle of friends, one of those was Rômulo Barral, the legendary athlete and instructor who was touched by the story and offered the young Brazilian a place in his famous pre-worlds training camp in Northridge, USA.
After the World Championship, it was Roberto Cyborg who requested Roosevelt’s presence in his Miami based Fight Sports academy. Cyborg was then preparing for a super-fight with Nicholas Meregali and was looking for strong, lengthy guard players to prepare for the Alliance world champion. Roosevelt felt at home with Fight Sports and ended representing the team on a few events.
After his time in the United States, Roosevelt re-united with his coach Iuri Alves in the UAE where he was awarded his black belt, in August 2020.
Roosevelt Sousa vs Mason Fowler