Jackson Souza


Jackson Sousa, also known as “Jack” or “Jackzinho”, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Rico Vieira, competitor out of the Fightzone academy in Rio de Janeiro – Checkmat Academy headquarters, and another “child” of Vieira’s social project at the Cantagalo slums. Jackson Sousa, a rising sporting star, remained for years in the limelight of Jiu Jitsu due to his long time struggle to obtain a US visa that allowed him to compete at a world stage. This important passport stamp came in 2013 and with it came also consecutive wins at the Mundial (World Championship), No Gi World Championship and Pro League, all of which cemented Jackson Sousa’s status as one of the top Jiu Jitsu athletes of his generation.

Favorite Position/Technique: Single Leg X-Guard

Weight Division: Peso Pesado (94kg/207lbs)

Team/Association: CheckMat BJJ

Jackson Sousa Biography

Jackson Sousa was born on the 24th of January, 1990 at the Instituto Fernandes Figueira (IFF) maternity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His sporting life started early, playing beach football/soccer, but at the age of 10 he was invited by a friend to come and try a Jiu Jitsu class at the social project led by Ricardo Vieira and Tererê in the Cantagalo Slums where Jackson grew up. Jackson tried one class and was hooked.

At the social project/BJJ school, his main coach was Leandro Martins. An inspirational figure for youngsters of the Cantagalo slums that is often forgotten by the Jiu Jitsu main stream. Leandro (an accomplished black belt who was paramount in Tererê’s recovery from drug abuse) led Jackson from white to blue belt, after Jackson reached blue belt level, Ricardo Vieira took over the teenager’s training.

Growing up in the favela, Jackson looked up to several Jiu Jitsu champions, also born in the Cantagalo slums who found a way to better their lives through BJJ. These were the cases of Alan ‘Finfou’ NascimentoBruno Matias, Sandro Vieira, ‘Trator’ (Douglas Rufino) and many others who served as real life examples to lead by and who kept Sousa away from a life of crime, a life only too common in the harsh Cantagalo environment.

Although Jackson tore up the Brazilian national circuit for a long time, he spent years unnoticed by the foreign media, a media that occasionally misses the diamonds in the rough still existing in Brazil. Those who cannot make a name for themselves at international events due to lack of sponsorship or who find it hard to get a visa approved to fight in the United States. On January 2012 however, Jackson turned a few heads his way after he found the sponsors to come and compete at the European Open in Portugal, a tournament he won a gold at his weigh division and silver at the open weight. After a couple more attempts at that US visa, in 2013 he was finally accepted to visit American soil. This blessing allowed Jackson to be internationally recognized as one of the top fighters of 2013 a deed he accomplished with 3 consecutive World class tournaments wins (Mundial, World Championship No Gi and IBJJF Pro League).


Main Achievements:


  • IBJJF London Fall Open Gi Champion (Weight and Absolute)

  • IBJJF London Fall Open No Gi Champion (Weight and Absolute)

  • UAE London Grand Slam

  • IBJJF European Bronze



  • 🥇IBJJF Absolute PAN NoGi

  • 🥇IBJJF NoGi London Fall International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi London Fall International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Moscow International

  • 🥇IBJJF NoGi Moscow International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Paris International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute Paris International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute London Winter

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi London Winter

  • 🥈IBJJF Gi London Fall International

  • 🥉ADCC Finland

  • 🥉IBJJF World NoGi


  • 🥇IBJJF European Champion

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi London Winter International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute London Winter

  • 🥇IBJJF NoGi Absolute British National

  • 🥈IBJJF World Silver division

  • 🥈IBJJF NoGi British National

  • 🥈IBJJF Gi Absolute British National

  • 🥈IBJJF Gi British National

  • 🥉IBJJF European Absolute Bronze

  • 🥉UAE Gi London Grand Slam


  • 🥇IBJJF NoGi European

  • 🥇IBJJF NoGi Absolute European

  • 🥇UAE Portugal National

  • 🥇FBJJF Gi Finish open

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi London Winter International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute London Winter

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Berlin International open

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute Berlin International

  • 🥇IBJJF NoGi Absolute Berlin International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute Rome International

  • 🥈IBJJF World NoGi Silver division

  • 🥈UAE Gi AbuDhabi World Pro

  • 🥈IBJJF Gi Rome International open

  • 🥉IBJJF World Bronze division

  • 🥉UAE Gi Absolute Los Angeles Grand Slam

  • 🥉UAE Gi Los Angeles Grand Slam


  • 🥇IBJJF PAN NoGi Absolute Champion

  • 🥇IBJJF European Champion

  • 🥇UAE Gi World Pro Trial

  • 🥇UAE Gi Absolute World Pro Trial

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute Vegas Spring

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Vegas Spring International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Absolute Dallas International

  • 🥇IBJJF Gi Dallas International open

  • 🥈IBJJF World NoGi Silver

  • 🥉IBJJF PAN NoGi Bronze division

  • 🥉IBJJF European Absolute Bronze


  • 🥇IBJJF World Champion

  • 🥇IBJJF World NoGi Champion

  • 🥇IBJJF European Champion

  • 🥇UAE Gi World Pro Trial

  • 🥉IBJJF World Absolute Bronze


  • 🥇IBJJF European Champion

  • 🥇IBJJF European National Team Champion

  • 🥈IBJJF European Absolute Silver

More important:

  • 🥇2x IBJJF PAN NoGi Absolute Champion

  • 🥇1x IBJJF PAN NoGi Champion

  • 🥇4x IBJJF European Champion

  • 🥇1x IBJJF World Champion

  • 🥇2x IBJJF NoGi World Champion

  • 🥇IBJJF National Team match European

  • 🥈IBJJF World NoGi Silver

  • 🥈IBJJF World Gi Silver

  • 🥈IBJJF European Absolute Silver 2012

  • 🥉ADCC World Bronze 99kg division

  • 🥉IBJJF World Gi bronze Absolute 2013

  • 🥉IBJJF World NoGi Bronze Absolute 2017

  • 🥉IBJJF World Gi Bronze division 2015

  • 🥉IBJJF European Gi Absolute Bronze 2014

  • 🥉IBJJF European Gi Absolute Bronze 2016

  • 🥉IBJJF European Gi Division Bronze 2018