Yet another athlete associated with the jiujitsu team “Fight Sports” is facing sexual assault allegations. A man has been accused of assaulting a female during time spent in Balneário Camboriú while competing for a spot at grappling’s most prestigious competition – ADCC.
The athlete who managed to win the trials and is now scheduled to participate in the ADCC is a former Volleyball player turned BJJ blackbelt, Roosevelt Sousa. He happens to be one of the training partners of Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, the head of the BJJ team “Fight Sports”.
An Instagram account by the name of “News Brazil Miami” reported that the alleged victim accused the athlete of having sexual relations with her while she was heavily medicated and in no position to consent.
The now-private Instagram account shared several screenshots of the conversations between the woman and the BJJ blackbelt. According to the posts, Roosevelt performed the sexual acts knowing that the victim was incapable of giving consent, due to being heavily medicated and asleep.
The Instagram page reported that the victim pressed charges against Roosevelt De Souza. A legal investigation is now due to happen.
Fight Sports has seen its share of similar accusations. The BJJ team led by Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Vagner Rocha was once heavily criticized for associating with men accused of several disturbing crimes of this nature. Most notably, there was a case of Marcel Goncalves.
Marcel Gonçalves was 31 years old at the time when it was discovered that he was having intimate relations with a 16-year-old student from the BJJ academy. Gonçalves was teaching said student for years before the incident ocurred.
The crime was reported after a friend of Gonçalves told the parents of the victim. He was arrested in 2018 and confessed to all charges. Gonçalves would later plead “insanity” due to suffering from head trauma from his MMA fight.
The way Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Vagner Rocha dealt with this situation was the subject of a lot of criticism from the BJJ community. But nothing seemed to stick until ADCC’s organizer Mo Jassim took matters into his own hands and had the incident be publicized by NY Times.
Back when Gonçalves’ was first arrested, “Cyborg” issued a statement on his Instagram regretting the fact, and stating that “The actions of this individual do not reflect what I stand for and he will be held responsible for his actions.”
However, following despite the press release, Gonçalves was present at the gym, training with Abreu and Rocha in both of their gyms.
Following an increased level of scrutiny and backlash over wanting Fight sports to self police sex crimes in the gym, Cyborg decided to revoke Gonçalves’ blackbelt, and give him a lifetime ban from the team.
Before the trial was set to begin, Gonçalves left the United States and is now living in Campo Grande, Brazil. Fight sports was suspected of helping Goncalves with several issues he was facing at the time. Cyborg issued a statement to The New York Times declaring that he did not help Gonçalves flee the country, but he has seen him in Brazil since his departure.
Fight Sports has been the target of other sexual assault allegations, one involving a competitor named Mandy Schneider, who alleges assault against Abreu black belt, Rodrigo da Costa Oliveira.
Despite the numerous controversies surrounding the team, the ADCC personally invited one of their head coaches, Vagner Rocha to participate in their event again.