In what may have been the biggest upset of the event, Gabriel Sousa defeated Joao Miyao in the finals at the UAEJJF World Pro today to win gold.
Miyao was the overwhelmingly clear favorite in the matchup, especially among our readers — our Instagram poll showed that 81 percent of respondents thought he’d be the one to come away with the win. It was easy to see why: a competitor with Miyao’s record was unlikely to be defeated by an athlete who only got his black belt last June. But right away, it was clear that de Sousa wasn’t going to let Miyao get away with a win that easily. The two were evenly matched on points and fighting off each other’s submission attempts left and right, and de Sousa had a razor-thin advantage-based win when the clock ran out.
We caught up with de Sousa after his big win, and he offered some amazing advice for athletes who find themselves competing against someone who “should” easily defeat them: