Prospect in the Spotlight (Feb 17-18): Manoel Sousa


Friday, February 17th, Brazilian lightmweight prospect Manoel Sousa will be in action for PFL, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Paulo Henrique. He will be looking for another win, as Sousa looks to inch closer to an invite to the 2023 PFL season. He represents Acadamia Octagono, a lesser-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”


Well-Rounded: Sousa has the benefit of being a very well-rounded fighter, which makes it tough to game plan for him since he’s good everywhere. Sousa has very good Muay Thai skills, which is evident as he is 23-0 in Muay Thai competition. He is very good on his feet in both his movement, technical prowess and strike accuracy. He also has shown knockout ability. On top of his striking, he’s also solid on the mat, benefitting as one of this new generation to grow into the sport as a mixed martial artist and not somebody from one specific background. Three of his nine wins come by way of submission.

Finisher: Sousa is not a guy that wants the judges to get involved; he takes matters into his own hands when it comes to scoring the win. His only ever decision was in his first ever amateur MMA fight in January of 2019. All nine of his pro MMA fights have been finishes. He’s been ultra-active since turning pro, and in his pro tenure, has finished all of his bouts. He holds six wins by way of knockout, while three have come by tapout. He’s knocked guys out on the feet, pounded them out on the ground and submitted them. That’s a true mixed martial artist.

Needs Improvement

Counter-Wrestling Question Marks: The one thing we have questions about when it comes to Sousa is his counter-wrestling, as he’s yet to really face a guy with top wrestling chops. Most of his fights come in Brazil, where getting a real meat-and-potatoes wrestler as an opponent is more difficult. His two opponents in America have not really been known for their wrestling either, so once he runs into somebody with wrestling, we can definitely get a better insight into his ability.


UFC Top-25: Right now, I am high on Sousa. He’s only 25 years old and has been fighting as an amateur/pro since 2019. He’s been very impressive in that time. He’s already shown a knack for finishes and being exciting, so that will help him. Being well-rounded in this day and age is also important, and he has that ability. He has a tough fight in front of him for this PFL Challengers Series bout against the aforementioned Henrique. He’s experienced and tough. If Sousa wins, especially in impressive fashion, he could join the 2023 PFL season or show he’s ready for a UFC contract. Five years down the line, this guy is a threat.

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