Washington Duarte Souza would love for his story to reach one of the major MMA promotions.
Souza, known in the Brazilian MMA community as “The Golden Princess,” has claimed to be the first openly gay male MMA fighter in Brazil. Souza claims this designation has led to hardships both in his personal and professional life.
The 29-year-old MMA fighter resides in a relatively small municipality in Southern Amapá with a population of approximately 50,000. In this region, being an openly gay athlete is still very much considered taboo in Brazil. This, says Souza, has led to facing extreme prejudice for his entire career.
“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. I won the fight in the first round, knocked out the boy and he left town,” Souza said.
Souza’s current professional record stands at 5-2. His most recent performance took place in 2019 with a submission victory.
Although “The Golden Princess” has been inactive for three years, he still hopes to someday compete in a major MMA organization such as the UFC.
“My dream is to fight in major MMA events and have an opportunity that I haven’t had to date. 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.”
What are your thoughts on Washington Souza’s aspirations?