Openly Gay Brazilian MMA Fighter Dreams Of Reaching Major Promotion

Washington Duarte Souza would love for his story to reach one of the major MMA promotions. Souza, known in the Brazilian MMA community as “The Golden Princess,” has claimed to be the first openly gay male MMA fighter in Brazil. Souza claims this designation has led to hardships both in his personal and professional life….

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Washington Duarte Souza would love for his story to reach one of the major MMA promotions.

Souza, known in the Brazilian MMA community as “The Golden Princess,” has claimed to be the first openly gay male MMA fighter in Brazil. Souza claims this designation has led to hardships both in his personal and professional life.

The 29-year-old MMA fighter resides in a relatively small municipality in Southern Amapá with a population of approximately 50,000. In this region, being an openly gay athlete is still very much considered taboo in Brazil. This, says Souza, has led to facing extreme prejudice for his entire career.

“The first part of prejudice I had inside MMA was a boy from a nearby town,” Souza told Combate. “He told my jiu-jitsu teacher that if he lost to me, he’d leave town. I won the fight in the first round, knocked out the boy and he left town,” Souza said.

Souza’s current professional record stands at 5-2. His most recent performance took place in 2019 with a submission victory.

Although “The Golden Princess” has been inactive for three years, he still hopes to someday compete in a major MMA organization such as the UFC.

“My dream is to fight in major MMA events and have an opportunity that I haven’t had to date. I believe in myself and I have the potential for that. The only (gay) assumed (in MMA) is me. I know there are more people, only they’re afraid of prejudice than people are going to say. They are afraid of the reaction of many parts of the academy. (I ask them) to show up and say their names, beat their chests.

Maria de Fátima and Washington Dourado — Photo: André Gallindo
Photo: André Gallindo

“I’m here, I’m here too, I’m here to be a part of it, And I’m here to add up, and I want them to have that courage. Show people that we can go beyond what they try to limit us.”

What are your thoughts on Washington Souza’s aspirations?

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Female MMA Fighter Becomes First Indian To Win Gold At GAMMA WC

Laishram Surbala Devi became the first Indian to win gold at the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) World Championships 2021 in Amsterdam. Born in Manipur, India, Devi made history last month after defeating Tomiris Zhussupova of Kazakhstan via decision at the GAMMA WC finals. GAMMA WC is a global MMA platform showcasing the talents…

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Laishram Surbala Devi became the first Indian to win gold at the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) World Championships 2021 in Amsterdam.

Born in Manipur, India, Devi made history last month after defeating Tomiris Zhussupova of Kazakhstan via decision at the GAMMA WC finals. GAMMA WC is a global MMA platform showcasing the talents of men, women, and youth MMA fighters.

The phenomenal win comes after a two-year hiatus due to a knee injury she suffered in 2019 at a world championship match in Bahrain.

“I was injured in the first round of the match but competed for nine minutes,” Devi said. “It was a very hard phase of my life, I had gone into depression because of my injury as I love the game so much. I had to do rehab for seven months. I had surgery and had to take a two-year-long break. This fight I had was me restarting my career and now I am a world champion.” (h/t NDTV)

But GAMMA WC is not the young fighter’s first experience at becoming a champion. She also struck gold in the WKF K1 Kickboxing Woman Amateur World Championship.

Laishram Surbala Devi
Laishram Surbala Devi holding Kickboxing champion belt

Devi began her fighting career in 2010 as a kickboxer. Legendary Manipurian Boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh was the major inspiration for her interest in the combat sport.

It was not until 2018 that Devi decided to dabble in mixed martial arts, and now the 21-year-old is a world champion.

With such a promising career, Devi has huge aspirations to turn professional and eventually fight in the world-famous UFC. As a newly crowned champion, Devi wants to help other fighters by providing the resources needed such as money and supplements to enter the sport.

What is your reaction to Laishram Surbala Devi becoming the first Indian to win gold at GAMMA World Championships?

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Teenage Ukrainian Refugee Wants To Defend His Home Country

While practicing MMA in the states, 14-year-old Ukrainian refugee Yuriy Bezus wishes he was back home in Ukraine. As the conflict in Ukraine worsens, many US residents with ties to the country worry about their families and loved ones. Take Maryna Moroz, for instance. When the war in Europe began, she was stateside training for…

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While practicing MMA in the states, 14-year-old Ukrainian refugee Yuriy Bezus wishes he was back home in Ukraine.

As the conflict in Ukraine worsens, many US residents with ties to the country worry about their families and loved ones.

Take Maryna Moroz, for instance. When the war in Europe began, she was stateside training for her bout with Mariya Agapova. And although she defeated her opponent in a dominant fashion, she still carries the pressure of concern for her homeland.

An astonishing amount of Ukrainians remained in the country to defend it. And some of those who are unable to fly to Ukraine and help yearn for the option to do so.

For example, 14-years-old Yuriy Bezus, a Ukrainian refugee fighting out of Northeast Ohio, says he would rather be fighting in Ukraine.

“I don’t want to go here. I’d rather stay there and be useful,” said Bezus. “I really wanted to stay, but my mom wouldn’t let me.”

Currently, Bezus practices MMA at Strong Style with a Russian trainer. It is the same gym as former UFC Heavyweight Champion and fireman Stipe Miocic.

Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic giving a lesson at Strong Style, Photo Credit: Crain’s Cleveland Business

Of course, it was a shock to leave his home suddenly. He and his mother fled Ukraine and traveled three days to Poland.

Bezus left behind friends and a girlfriend but has made some new friends, even some from his country. He is learning a new set of skills at Strong Style and gaining a safer experience.

He wanted to stay in Ukraine, but his mother insisted they leave. Surely, she is thankful for Strong Style for keeping her teenage son in a place where he feels welcome.

“People know us for fighting but we’re here to change people’s lives and there a time when people need us, like this situation,” said Strong Style owner Marcus Marinelli, also Stipe’s trainer. “Once you walk through those doors, all this stuff’s out. We’re a brotherhood here of all different kinds of people, all different walks of life, none of that matters once you get underneath this roof.” (h/t Cleveland 19)

What are your thoughts on 14-year-old Ukrainian refugee Yuriy Bezus wanting to stay and fight for Ukraine?

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MMA Fighter Cody East Behind Bars For Alleged Domestic Violence

Cody East is back behind bars following an alleged domestic violence incident between him and his wife over the weekend in New Mexico. According to Albuquerque, NM television news station KRQE, East has been charged with child abuse, false imprisonment, and battery after the incident. The MMA fighter East allegedly got into a fight with…

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Cody East is back behind bars following an alleged domestic violence incident between him and his wife over the weekend in New Mexico.

According to Albuquerque, NM television news station KRQE, East has been charged with child abuse, false imprisonment, and battery after the incident.

The MMA fighter East allegedly got into a fight with his wife and is also accused of refusing to let their children out of his car. He was arrested for similar charges back in 2017 after kneeing his then-girlfriend and threatening to kill her 10-year-old boy.

East was also charged with aggravated battery against a family member back in 2016 and was also arrested on two prior domestic violence charges between 2006 and 2010.

East is a former UFC heavyweight who lost back-to-back fights to Curtis Blaydes and Walt Harris during his time with the promotion. He’s also competed in smaller promotions such as Legacy and King of the Cage.

East last competed in MMA at RUF MMA 41, losing to Michael Quintero via first-round knockout. His last win of any kind came in a kickboxing match at SCL 74 against Jared Torgeson.

What are your thoughts on Cody East’s latest arrest?

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Watch: MMA Fighter Accidently Drops Referee With Rolling Thunder Kick

There was a surprise knockout during the semi-finals of Brave Combat Federation’s MMA Super Cup tournament. Thursday morning, a video of an MMA referee getting inadvertently hit by a rolling kick hit social media. The incident occurred during the Ireland vs. Mexico round of fights. The kick appeared to fully connect with the referee, thus…

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There was a surprise knockout during the semi-finals of Brave Combat Federation’s MMA Super Cup tournament.

Thursday morning, a video of an MMA referee getting inadvertently hit by a rolling kick hit social media. The incident occurred during the Ireland vs. Mexico round of fights. The kick appeared to fully connect with the referee, thus sending him down to the canvas. Fortunately, he was reportedly able to recover and continue calling the fight.

You can watch the shocking sequence below.

What Is MMA Super Cup?

This is the inaugural edition of Brave CF’s MMA SuperCup tournament. The event is held in association with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and is an amateur MMA tournament with fighters from across the globe representing their nations. The tournament includes eight nations in total and is being held from March 9-12.

There are nine fighters per team (seven males and two females), one for each weight class, and three alternates (two males and one female) per team. There are nine fights for each round of the tournament, with every bout consisting of 180-second rounds. There are overtime rounds in the event in a draw. Whichever team has the most wins at the end of the nine fights will advance to the next stage of the tournament.

The prize money for the tournament is as follows:

First Place: $100,000

Second Place: $75,000

Third Place: $50,000

You can view the MMA Super Cup tournament with a subscription to IMMAFTV starting at $6.99. You can learn more about the MMA Super Cup tournament here.

Are you watching the inaugural MMA Super Cup tournament?

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Watch: EFC 92 Opens With MMA Fighter Suffering Horrific Leg Break

South African promotion EFC 92 kicked off in one of the worst ways possible on Saturday with an MMA fighter experiencing a nasty broken leg. Such injuries have unfortunately become a familiar sight for MMA fans in the past year. At UFC 261 last April, Chris Weidman shattered his right tibia and fibula after his…

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South African promotion EFC 92 kicked off in one of the worst ways possible on Saturday with an MMA fighter experiencing a nasty broken leg.

Such injuries have unfortunately become a familiar sight for MMA fans in the past year. At UFC 261 last April, Chris Weidman shattered his right tibia and fibula after his leg kick was checked by Uriah Hall. Just two months later, Conor McGregor’s leg crumpled beneath him after Dustin Poirier checked one of the Irishman’s low kicks. Now, yet another MMA fighter has suffered the same fate at EFC 92 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In the opening bout between heavyweights Willem Smith and Ivan Strydom, fans in attendance witnessed a grisly spectacle when a right outside leg kick from Smith landed on the knee of Strydom, causing an immediate break. You can watch the unfortunate incident yourself below.

Fortunately for Smith, who crashed to the canvas wincing in pain, both Strydom and the referee noticed the injury and there were no subsequent strikes landed. It was the fifth loss of Smith’s six-fight professional MMA career.

Smith, however, later appeared in good spirits, sporting a smile and giving a thumbs up to the camera while lying on a gurney backstage.

The 6-foot 5-inch Strydom notched up the second win of his professional MMA career. Hopefully, this will be the last time he, or any of us, see a similar ending to a fight.

You can check out the full EFC 92 fight card and results here.

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