Souza started training Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when he was 17. He is a 5-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion, including gold medals in the Openweight class in 2003, 2004 and 2005. His other credentials include the 2005 77–87 kg ADCCChampion and the 2005 ADCC Absolute Division runner-up, only losing to Roger Gracie who outweighed him by approximately 25 lbs. Along with Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia, Jacaré is widely considered to be among the greatest BJJ practitioners of all time. In 2008 he was runner up inDream‘s mixed martial arts Middleweight Grand Prix tournament, losing to Gegard Mousasi in the finals.
Souza made his MMA debut on September 9, 2003 at Jungle Fight’s inaugural event where he lost to Jorge “Macaco” Patinoby KO at 3:13 into the first round. He returned to MMA eight months later at Jungle Fight 2 securing a submission win over Victor Babkir under a minute into the first round. His next fight was in April 2006 at Jungle Fight 6 where he got his second win, defeating Alexander Schlemenko by an arm triangle choke submission. He went on to fight twice before the end of 2006, winning both fight by submission during the first round.
In 2006, Souza fought and drew with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture in a grappling contest. After the match Souza was invited by Couture to train at his gym. Souza accepted and started training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Souza’s first fight of 2007 was on May 19 with him scoring a submission win due to strikes over veteran Bill Vucick at Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution. He would next fight twice within a two week period on September 29 and October 13, scoring two submission wins both within the first round.
In 2008, Souza signed with Japanese MMA-promotion Dream and was scheduled to participate in the 2008 Dream Middleweight Grand-Prix. In the first round of the tournament, at Dream 2 on April 29, 2008, he defeated Ian Murphy by a rear naked chokesubmission in the first round. This secured him a place in the quarter-finals which took place at Dream 4 on June 15 were he fought former ICON Sport Middleweight ChampionJason “Mayhem” Miller. The fight went the distance with Souza continuously going for submissions with Miller escaping multiple rear naked choke, leglock and armbar-attempts while mounting his own offense on the feet. Souza was awarded a unanimous decision victory which secured him a place in the semi-final of the Middleweight Grand-Prix.
In the semi-finals which took place at Dream 6 on September 23, Souza defeated Zelg Galesic early in the first round by armbar submission. The victory earned him a place in the finals of the tournament and a shot at the Dream Middleweight Championship against Gegard Mousasi that same night. In the fight Souza was knocked out early in the first round by an upkick as he attempted to dive past Mousasi’s guard to land a strike of his own. After participating in the tournament, Souza left Xtreme Couture and went toSan Diego to train with Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, before leaving to train with Anderson Silva and Andre Galvao in preparation for Silva’s upcoming bout with Thales Leites at UFC 97 at Black House.
Souza fought in the Dream Middleweight Championship in a rematch with Jason Miller atDream 9 after Gegard Mousasi vacated the title when moving up to Light Heavyweight. The fight was called a no contest due to an illegal kick to the head that opened up a gash on Souza’s head.
Souza made his Strikeforce debut on December 19, 2009 at Strikeforce: Evolution with a first round submission win over Matt Lindland, via arm triangle choke. In this fight, Souza showed a major improvement in his stand up game and striking. Souza faced Joey Villaseñor on May 15, 2010 at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. He won the fight via decision, dominating the first round, being very aggressive, achieving the mount position and almost achieving the submission, but slowed down on the 2nd and 3rd round.
Souza fought Tim Kennedy on August 21, 2010 at Strikeforce: Houston for the vacant Strikeforce middleweight belt, and won via unanimous decision. Souza then defended the belt for the first time against Robbie Lawler, on January 29, 2011 at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg.
Info: courtesy of Wikipedia