When Victoria Souza first walked into her gym, she was looking for Zumba classes to wind down from her job. But when she realized Zumba wasn’t an option, she stumbled upon mixed martial arts. The rest is history.
Fast forward several years later and the unbeaten 24-year-old Souza (5-0) is about to make her ONE Championship debut against the highly touted Victoria Lee (2-0), younger sister of ONE Championship title holders Angela and Christian Lee.
“My professional career has been meteoric,” Souza told MMA Junkie. “I started out in 2017. I joined the Team Tavares academy looking for a Zumba class to destress from my accounting job. I was told there was no Zumba. My choices were muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. I joined muay Thai. I liked it and kept training.”
Souza, who’s Brazilian, said she had her first sparring sessions with UFC veteran Thiago Tavares after six months of training. During one training sessions, Souza remembers taking down her partner and following up with strikes on the ground, which isn’t allowed in muay Thai.
“I was confused since I’d seen fights continue on the ground on TV,” Souza said. “It was explained that only MMA allowed for that. That’s when I decided to pursue MMA. I began jiu-jitsu classes. I joined several tournaments and earned titles in both kickboxing and jiu-jitsu.
“In jiu-jitsu, I participated in the South American and Abu Dhabi tournaments. In kickboxing, it was one Panamerican and two Brazilian tournaments. In 2018, I started proper MMA training. I had my amateur debut in 2019 and professional in 2020. I’ve remained undefeated with one amateur win and five wins as a pro. Thankfully, my record got me into Asia’s biggest promotion.”
Suffice to say, Souza is looking forward to making her promotional debut Friday against Lee in the main card opener of ONE Championship: Revolution
“My opponent is an excellent athlete,” Souza said. “She’s a complete fighter. She’s good both in striking and grappling. She doesn’t run from a fight. We’ve studied her videos extensively. From that, we built the best strategy. I’m also complete. I can hardly wait. I’m working very hard to bring home this victory.”
ONE Championship: Revolution takes at Singapore Indoor Stadium. The card streams on the ONE Championship app.
How to watch ‘ONE Championship: Revolution’ – Fight card, start time, live stream