Student mirrors his professor

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Medium heavyweight brown belt Dimitrius Souza of Alliance tries to emulate his professor Sergio Moraes in everything he does. That includes being a world champion. Souza, who is 22 years old, recently won gold in his division at the 2011 Worlds after five hard fights and he and Moraes could not have been happier.

Souza celebrating with Moraes and company / Photos: Deb Blyth

Like a number of other competitors at the Worlds, Souza came into the competition injured and fought through his matches in pain to take gold. He said his fights were really tough and that his knee hurt him the whole way through, but he would not give up. After becoming world champion, Souza said he was going to take a rest before going into the open. “I tore the tendon in my knee and it hurts really bad,” Souza said, “I put in a lot of dedication and hard work to accomplish this.”

Dimitrius Souza fights through the pain in his match.

In the open, Souza fought gallantly but was unable to beat Joao Rocha of Soul Fighters. Souza was disappointed but at the same time very happy with his overall performance at the event. As a brown belt, he is a two-time Brazilian Nationals champion, but this was his first world title. As a purple belt Souza won the Worlds in 2008 and the Brazilian Nationals once.

Sergio Moraes and Souza are very close. It is Souza who teaches and helps run Moraes’s school in Brazil. At the Worlds, Souza coached Moraes to his win against Romulo Barral in the final. As the two celebrated their victories, Moraes said that he relies heavily on Souza and it is because of Souza’s support and friendship that Moraes is able to be the champion he is. Souza says that Moraes is his mentor and inspiration and without him, none of this would be possible.

Souza is now going to take a break and rehab his knee until it is 100% again. He says he competes constantly and hasn’t given himself enough time to heal. Now, with his gold medal wrapped around his neck, he is going to take that time.

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