Souza is a 25-year-old jiu-jitsu expert who has also trained in striking under Lyoto Machida. The end result is a well-rounded fighter who can hold his own in any area of MMA. He won the LFA featherweight belt back in August with a solid decision over Javier Garcia (7-3) and also has wins over hot prospect Elijah Johns (7-1), current Bellator fighter Mike Hamel (6-2), and recent UFC signing Kamuela Kirk (9-3). Like many LFA champions before him, the title win was enough to earn him a short-notice call-up to the UFC, and he’s faced better regional competition than the majority of recent UFC signings.
Souza is very technically sound in everything he does. His strikes are varied and he mixes up his targets well, but he doesn’t have the raw physical power or explosiveness of some of the featherweights he’ll be taking on in the UFC. His ground game is also strong but he’s not really a finisher in any aspect of fighting and will likely win by decision if he ends up finding success in the UFC.
Unfortunately for Souza his short-notice opponent is high-level kickboxer Melsik Baghdasaryan, who has all the power and explosiveness that Souza somewhat lacks. I can see Souza having success for large portions of the fight, but it will only take one quick exchange for Baghdasaryan to dramatically change the course of the contest. I imagine he’ll stick around on the prelims for a few years depending on who he’s matched against, but right now I don’t project him to rise very high up the UFC pecking order.
Out Within 1-2 Years
A Mainstay Through the Years