Souza was born in a small town in Brazil where he enjoyed playing football. When he was 15, he saw a friend get killed and due to this, moved to Manausto go live with his brother and started training Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu when he was 17.
There, he became a five-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion, including winning gold medals in the Openweight class in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Souza made his MMA debut in 2003, and while he lost his first fight, he bounced back and enjoyed a 10 fight win streak that took from Brazil to Japan’s DREAM, where he made it to the finals of their Middleewight Grand Prix in 2008.
After this, Strikeforce recruited him and he became their Middleweight champion, picking up wins over Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, and Matt Lindland along the way.
In 2013, “Jacare” became a member of the UFC roster, and has defeated tough competitors like Yushin Okami, Gegard Mousasi, Chris Camozzi, and Vitor Belfort.
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