It’s probably every mixed martial artist’s dream to reach a major promotion and find fame and success.
Washington Duarte Souza is no exception, the 29-year-old flyweight also dreams of signing with a major promotion.
Souza is the first openly gay male mixed martial artist in Brazil. Brazil and its’ authoritarian leadership don’t look kindly on diversity.
Locally known as ‘The Golden Princess’, he currently lives in a small municipality in Southern Amapá with a population of approximately 50,000.
Souza claims that his decision to be an open about his personal life doesn’t come without consequences. It’s caused hardships in both his personal and professional life.
“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. ”
“knocked out the boy and he left town,” Souza said.
Souza last appeared at MF6 back in August of 2019, winning the bout by submission against an undocumented opponent.
Now amassing a record of 5-2 with three-straight finishes, Souza is still hoping to get an opportunity to make it in the big leagues.
“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.”
“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.”