Jackson Sousa's new link-up in Emirates puts nine proteges on world stage in UAE capital
Dubai, UAE, 1st November 2023: Jackson Sousa, the prolific jiu-jitsu gold medal winner from Brazil, has set his sights on more title success in Abu Dhabi next week after entering into a new collaboration in the UAE.
Sousa will compete as a black belt in both the Masters and Professional 94kg divisions at the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which combines six events starting today and running until November 10 at Mubadala Arena.
An informal agreement with Dubai-based tech venture company, Scalo Technologies, has reinvigorated his career. It is also giving nine promising jiu-jitsu athletes the opportunity to shine on the world stage in the UAE capital.
As part of his build-up for Abu Dhabi, where he took the pro' division silver medal in 2016, Sousa secured two golds at the IBJJF London Fall International Open earlier this month.
Meanwhile, at his gym in London, he has been coaching a group of talented jiu-jitsu athletes in preparation for their appearance in Abu Dhabi, which comes as part of his new arrangement with Scalo.
Sousa is personal trainer to the company's Director and co-founder, Abdumalik Mirakhmedov, and says: “I'm so grateful to him for helping me build the jiu-jitsu talent pipeline, and to have the chance to bring a group of very promising athletes with me to Abu Dhabi.
“I'm specially looking forward to competing there again. The city has done a lot to promote our ‘gentle art', and is a great example of progress in the sport.”
Abdumalik Mirakhmedov said: “Jackson has overcome obstacles to attain success at the top level. He deserves the chance to achieve a lot more. We're especially looking forward to seeing him, and his proteges, take on the world's best in Abu Dhabi.”
The group of nine are Brazilian Bruno Foguel, Portuguese Jorge Rodrigues and Joao Rebelo, Angolan brothers Kolin, Salas, and Klay Abreu de Sousa, Frenchman Alan Bognan and English athletes Thomas Kan and Ross John.
Introduced to jiu-jitsu by a friend at the age of ten, Sousa excelled on the mat, winning a collection of championships in his native Brazil. A lack of financial support and failure to get a US visa threatened to limit his success. Then in 2012, a sponsor sent him to the European Championship in Portugal, where he won gold in his division.
Finally arriving on US soil the following year, he won three consecutive world-class tournaments and earned a black belt. Much more success followed as he established himself as one of the top jiu-jitsu athletes of his generation
He lines up first next week in the Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship from 6-7 November, before competing in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship over the following three days.