Livinha Souza
The Brazilian Gangster


UFC struggles continue
July 13, 2019
Souza lost to Brianna Van Buren via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Sacramento.
A former Invicta Strawweight Champion, Souza has found her time with the UFC considerably more difficult than her previous employer. The Brazilian was impressive in her debut -- a submission win over Alex Chambers last September -- but she has since responded with a lackluster split-decision win over Sarah Frota in February and Saturday's no-show effort. Souza is a solid submission specialist, but her striking is poor and her takedown defense is abysmal. Fringe talents like Souza can succeed in a lesser organization like Invicta, but one-dimensional fighters will always struggle when the competition rises.
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New opponent in Sacramento
June 13, 2019
Souza will now take on Brianna Van Buren at UFC Sacramento on July 13 following the withdrawal of her original opponent Cynthia Calvillo, Rafael Oreiro of reports.
It was reported earlier in the week by MMAJunkie that Calvillo had suffered a broken foot and would be forced to withdraw, needing roughly six weeks for the injury to heal. Rather than wait it out and reschedule, it appears Souza will accept a different fight and stay on the card. Drawing Van Buren isn't less challenging of a task, however, as she's the current Invicta FC Strawweight Champion on a five-fight winning streak.Three of those wins came on a single night in Invicta's Phoenix Rising event, where Van Buren defeated former UFC fighters Juliana Lima and Kailin Curran to become champion.
Next fight in Sacramento
May 14, 2019
Souza (ankle) will take on Cynthia Calvillo in a strawweight matchup at UFC Sacramento on July 13, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
Souza got off to a 2-0 start to her professional career, though she escaped with a split decision over a heavy Sarah Frota last February, despite entering as a (-240) betting favorite. The Brazilian was set to see a step up in competition in April, but had to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Carla Esparza due to a foot injury. That appears to have cleared up in time to begin a camp for a July bout against possibly her toughest opponent to date. The former Invicta FC champion will head into hostile territory, as Sacramento is only a two hour drive from where Calvillo trains. Souza is known as a submission specialist, and will likely attack the 69 percent takedown defense of Calvillo, though it's worth noting Calvillo has yet to be submitted in her pro career.
Scratched with ankle injury
April 4, 2019
Souza withdrew from her fight against Carla Esparza at UFC Fort Lauderdale on April 27 due to an ankle injury, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
Souza's had a very successful professional career thus far, going 13-1 in her first 14 fights and 2-0 to begin her time with the UFC. It's unclear how severe the injury is at this time, but she will be replaced by former Invicta FC strawweight champion Virna Jandiroba.
Gets step up in Fort Lauderdale
February 23, 2019
Souza will take on Carla Esparza at UFC Fort Lauderdale on April 27, Adriano Albuquerque of Combate reports.
Souza is off to a 13-1 start to her professional career, with the 27-year-old picking up her only loss to a UFC fighter in Angela Hill while competing under the Invicta banner nearly three years ago. She's 2-0 to begin her run in the UFC, most recently earning a split decision over Sarah Frota on Feb. 2. She'll get both a quick turnaround and a step up in competition for this matchup against Esparza, who has been taking on primarily elite strawweights in the UFC since 2014. Esparza may be on a two-fight losing streak, but those defeats have been against Tatiana Suarez (will likely fight for a title soon) and Claudia Gadelha (has already fought for a title). A win here for Souza could prove to UFC brass that she's ready for the top tier of the division, but it won't be easy going for the submission specialist against Esparza, who hasn't been submitted since long before her UFC days in 2010.
Grinds out decision in Brazil
February 2, 2019
Souza defeated Sarah Frota via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) decision at UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ on Saturday in Brazil.
This was an uneventful fight. Souza wanted to grapple with the larger Frota who missed weight by 7 pounds. She found a lot of success with takedowns throughout the fight. It was a good mix of judo throws and traditional takedowns. Frota was the much larger fighter and Souza couldn't really hurt her from a striking standpoint, even though she landed good shots. "The Brazilian Gangster" seemed to get hurt by Frota's strikes toward the end of the fight but was far enough ahead, at that point, to win the decision.