Sunday, March 28th, Brazilian bantamweight prospect Herbeth Sousa will be in action for CDL, where he will be looking to continue his winning ways against prospect Derinaldo Guerra. He will be looking for another win, as Sousa looks to impress the UFC brass in an attempt to earn an eventual contract. He represents Constrictor Team, a solid camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Jiu-Jitsu: Running with Constrictor Team and having plenty of years of BJJ experience, Sousa is clearly a grappler first. His takedowns can be telegraphed and his wrestling is not the strongest, but he is able to get guys down with his relentlessness. See his bout with Alexander Keshtov. Once down, he is excellent at controlling his opponent and cutting through their defenses. He gets to a finishing position quickly. He has a strong choking grip, which has led to most of his wins. The guillotine and rear-naked chokes are his two go-to holds. He also effectively uses ground-and-pound, which helps him open up his opponent and look for those finishes. Engaging Sousa on the mat is the not best strategy for a fighter taking the cage with him.
Experience: Sousa is just 26 years old, but he’s been fighting professionally since 2012. That means he has over eight years experience going back to when he was a teenager. That also means he started training before 2012. That experience is huge, as it shows that he not only has had plenty of live cage time, but that he’s ready to move up to the big leagues ASAP. His last few fights have been against his most credible and dangerous opponents, showing that he is really hitting his stride at this point as well.
Striking Question Marks: There is not a ton of footage on Sousa, so there may be more than just his one question mark. However, just given the tape we saw on Sousa against the aforementioned Keshtov, it did not look like Sousa wanted anything to do with his opponent’s striking. From what I can see, Sousa mostly uses his striking to set up takedowns or clinches. He has two striking stoppages, but has not really shown the acumen nor the raw power to be a major threat to guys that will prefer to sprawl-and-brawl the Brazilian.
UFC Midcarder: Sousa’s win over Keshtov really opened my eyes, as I was high on Keshtov. It really showed that Sousa had grown since his 2016 loss and is clearly a guy that can succeed in the major leagues. He will still need to touch up his game, but the 26-year-old is a legit grappler that is improving from fight to fight. He is approaching his prime and now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. First, he must beat the opponent he is currently matched up with in a Brazilian regional show. A win here should certainly get him the call.