Roberto de Souza (9-1), who lives and trains in the Hamamatsu region of Japan, will, in fact, be competing in front of his hometown fans at RIZIN 21 later this month.
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With that being said, it will not be in mixed martial arts action like his last three outings in RIZIN Fighting Federation. According to RIZIN brass, the promotion is looking to add Roberto “Satoshi” de Souza to the event in a special rules, unannounced grappling match-up.
At 30-years-old, de Souza was considered by many to be one of the more impressive prospects in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu just a few short years ago. However, in recent times, the Brazilian-born Japanese resident has shifted all of his focus to mixed martial arts.
Upon signing to RIZIN Fighting Federation in 2019, “Satoshi” was given a legend in his debut. Shockingly, the grappler knocked out the always tough Satoru Kitaoka with punches in the second round. Next up, it was UFC veteran Mizuto Hirota who was knocked out by the submission specialist. All this surprising, stand-up action gave Roberto de Souza a spot in last years’ RIZIN Lightweight Grand-Prix. Unfortunately for him, he was knocked out by Johnny Case in 75-seconds in the tournaments opening round.
Roberto de Souza is one of five grappling siblings, and one of two on the RIZIN roster. His brother, Marcos de Souza, will compete on the RIZIN 21 card against Falco Neto following an unsuccessful promotional debut at RIZIN 19.
Known in the grappling world for his lethal guard, here is a list of Roberto de Souza’s top grappling accolades via the always fantastic BJJ Heroes.
- IBJJF European Open Champion (2012 black, 2011 brown)
- UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Champion (2012/2014)
- IBJJF Asian Open Champion (2010 absolute)
- UAEJJF Grand Slam Tokyo Champion (2015/2016)
- IBJJF World Champion (2006 blue weight & absolute, 2009 purple, 2010 brown)
- Rickson Gracie Cup Champion (2008 purple, 2010 brown absolute)
- DEEP XGP Champion (2007)
- FPJJ Sao Paulo State Champion (2007)
- IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (2017)
- UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Championship Runner-up (2016)
- UAEJJF Grand Slam Abu Dhabi Championship Runner-up (2017)
- IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place (2012/2014)
- UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Championship 3rd Place (2015)
An opponent has not been named for this all-but confirmed addition to RIZIN 21, but with the event just weeks away, an announcement should be expected soon.