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Otavio Sousa: Record, Net Worth, Weight, Age & More!
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Otavio Sousa: Record, Net Worth, Weight, Age & More!

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Who is Otavio Sousa?

Otavio Sousa, sometimes known as “The Steamroller” for his strong pressure style, is a Brazilian black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Gracie Junior himself. Sousa is known as one of the best middleweight players alive, which is a well-earned reputation from winning gold at major tournaments like the IBJJF World Championships and IBJJF Pan American Championships. He currently competes out of Gracie Barra Huntington Beach.

Who is Otavio Sousa?

Otavio Sousa, sometimes known as “The Steamroller” for his strong pressure style, is a Brazilian black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Gracie Junior himself. Sousa is known as one of the best middleweight players alive, which is a well-earned reputation from winning gold at major tournaments like the IBJJF World Championships and IBJJF Pan American Championships. He currently competes out of Gracie Barra Huntington Beach.

Dynamic De La Riva Guard by Otavio Sousa

Sousa was born in the summer of 1986 in a small, rural town in Brazil. He found his way onto the mats at only thirteen years old when a friend invited him to participate in a class. Although Sousa would eventually train directly under Carlos Gracie Junior, he was originally a student of a different professor, Jose Olimpio, who is a legend himself. 

Known simply as “Ze Radiola”, Olimpio is the mastermind behind such Gracie Barra Standouts as Braulio & Victor Estima, as well as Bruno Alves. Even though Ze Radiola would eventually split from Gracie Barra in order to start his own affiliation, the two share common roots. Otavio Sousa eventually made his way from his hometown of Recife, which is located in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, to America to train with Gracie. 

Once in America under the watchful eye of Carlos Junior, Otavio Sousa became an instant star at the Gracie Barra academy even before being promoted to black belt. He was able to win many titles at the lower ranks, which included a 2007 IBJJF World Championship at brown belt. After this win in the Mundials, Sousa was promoted to black belt, where he would continue to dominate. It was Carlos Jr., and not his earlier coach, Olimpio, who tied the belt on Sousa’s waist.

Soon after achieving his black belt, around 2008, Otavio Sousa was given an invitation to join the Gracie Barra Academy in Irvine, California as the head instructor. Making the move meant that Sousa would have increased responsibility for teaching classes, and would work directly under the leadership of owner Chris Pizzo. Sousa accepted, and would continue to work there for a few years training top-level talent to perform on the biggest stages.

Unfortunately, Sousa and Pizzo were not able to see eye-to-eye for long, and Otavio became the center of an internet controversy. After being fired via email by Pizzo, Sousa took to facebook to express his frustration over what he called a sudden and unexpected end to a fruitful relationship. It became a classic he-said-she-said story on internet forums: ownership cited Sousa’s active competition, training, and seminar schedule as a major factor in his missing too many classes. Sousa responded that he had never been given a chance to make changes, and that he was blindsided. Pizzo again shot back, this time claiming that Sousa had been too demanding in terms of salary, and had ignored requests to stick to the class schedule and curriculum. Tempers eventually died down and Sousa landed at Gracie Barra in Huntington beach after bringing a sizeable following out of his old academy.

Today, Otavio continues to train, compete, and teach students. If his recent gold medal run at the 2020 Pan American championships is any indication, Sousa will be on our radar for years to come.

Spider Guard Following The Legacy Part 1: Foundations & Spider De La Riva by Lucas Valente

How Old is Otavio Sousa?

Otavio Sousa is 35 years old as of 2021. He was born in July of 1986 in Brazil.

Otavio Sousa Family

Not much information about Sousa’s family has been published.

How Much is Otavio Sousa Worth?

Otavio Sousa’s net worth has not been made public.

How Tall is Otavio Sousa?

Otavio’s height is not listed.

How Much Does Otavio Sousa Weigh? 

Otavio Sousa now weighs around 200 pounds, but competed in a wide variety of divisions. Sousa has entered many tournaments as a lightweight at 77 kg (170 pounds) and also as a heavyweight with a limit of 88 kg, or 194 pounds. Otavio is also no stranger to the absolutes, having regularly fought in open weight divisions as well.

Otavio Sousa Fight List

Sousa is one of the most decorated Jiu-Jitsu players of this era. He is a four-time world champion and a four-time pan american champion, and has medaled in many other tournaments. Below are a list of his podium finishes by placement:

Gold Medals:

  • IBJJF World Champion: 2007 (Brown/Absolute), 2012, 2013, 2016
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion: 2009, 2010, 2017, 2020
  • IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Champion: 2015
  • CBJJ Brazilian National Champion: 2019
  • IBJJF New York Open Champion: 2012
  • IBJJF Las Vegas Open Champion: 2011

Silver Medals:

  • IBJJF World Championships: 2014
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Championships: 2009
  • IBJJF Pan American Championships: 2008, 2009 (Absolute), 2019
  • CBJJ Brazilian National Championships: 2017
  • IBJJF World Championships: 2007 (Brown)
  • IBJJF Pan American Championships: 2007 (Brown)
  • CBJJ Brazilian National Championships: 2004 (Purple)
  • IBJJF European Open Championship: 2007 (Brown), 2008

Bronze Medals:

  • IBJJF World Championships: 2008, 2009, 2017
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Championship: 2011, 2015
  • IBJJF Pan American Championships: 2011, 2016

Otavio Sousa's Best Fight of All Time

With a record like Sousa’s, it's tough to identify a single match that stands above the rest. His most recent Pan American Championship, earned in 2020, is certainly one such bright spot. The first two rounds of the tournament saw Sousa easily submit Armando Esquer and Joseph Watson with a mounted cross choke and an armbar, respectively. The third round was tougher, with Otavio narrowly edging out Gabriel Almeida via points, 2 to 0. Finally, he went on to claim gold after a hard fought but dominant 4-0 performance over Matheus Luna.

Who Did Otavio Sousa Lose To?

Not every tournament can end in victory. Sousa was reminded of this in 2019 at the SJJIF Worlds, where he faced Ronaldo Junior in the final round of the open weight absolute division. As time expired, and with Sousa in bottom position, Junior was able to score a narrow 2-0 victory and claim the absolute title. 

Otavio Sousa Record

Otavio Sousa has a record of 117-51 in professional grappling competition. His record spans over an astounding fifteen years and five weight categories. Of his 117 wins, 57 have come by submission. He displays a clear preference for chokes, having finished twelve opponents with chokes from the back, as well as five with mounted cross chokes. The armbar is also a favorite submission of Sousa, who has tapped out nine professional opponents with it.

Otavio Sousa Injuries

Otavio Sousa has been fairly healthy throughout his career, although he did have to pull out of a match in November of 2017. Notably, Sousa was on the giving end of a severe injury in the 2014 Worlds when his omoplata resulted in a spinal injury for Alan “Finfou” Nascimento. A look at the video shows that Sousa was neither malicious or reckless; this was a freak accident.

Is Otavio Sousa Retired?

Sousa has not retired from competition and has maintained an active schedule of high-level tournaments. He has continued to medal on the largest stages in the world. But when he’s not on the mat, Otavio has a ton of information to share with fellow practitioners to help them achieve their goals. His BJJ Fanatics instructional “Dynamic De La Riva Guard” does a phenomenal job of breaking down the DLR system into key details that translate to success.

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