Rene Sousa was just promoted to black belt in BJJ after a fantastic performance on the most recent Who’s Number One Card on February 25th, 2023. Sousa was one of several grapplers on the card who managed to earn an upset victory, as he submitted Kieran Kichuk with a beautiful kneebar on the preliminary card. Sousa has been training for around fifteen years now and he’s been putting in a ton of hard work with his training partners at 10th Planet Bethlehem, which is no doubt part of the reason why the head coach Zach Maslany has promoted him now.
Sousa is a pretty unique and exciting competitor, and he’s probably best known for his excellent buggy choke abilities. He started training at the age of 10 and hasn’t looked back since, even training and competing in wrestling as well. At one point, Sousa managed to wrestle at a Division III level and that experience serves him very well whenever he competes against other pure BJJ athletes. He’s a veteran Subversiv and Fight 2 Win competitor who regularly delivers plenty of action when he steps on the mats, and even tried to make a run at glory in the 88kg division of the ADCC North American East Coast trials back in 2021.
Sousa was also one of sixteen up-and-coming grapplers who were chosen compete on the very first season of FloGrappling’s reality show, Who’s Next in 2022. Although he wasn’t one of the two men to make it to the final, he did appear on the show’s finale to Andrew Tackett and was unfortunately submitted with a rear-naked choke. Regardless, Sousa’s exciting style on the show no doubt contributed to him being invited back to compete on Who’s Number One. It’ll be interesting to see how Sousa fares when he’s booked for another WNO event, and when he tries to win ADCC trials again.
Rene Sousa announced the news that he was promoted to black belt in BJJ in a recent post to his official Instagram account: