SAO PAULO -- Kevin Souza wants to get back to finishing at The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 Finale card, so he decided to train wrestling.
Souza first fought in the UFC in 2013, when he scored a split-decision victory over Felipe Arantes at UFC Fight Night 28. He broke his arm during the fight, but that’s not the only reason why he couldn’t get the finish.
"The fact that now I believe in my takedown defense helps me to use my striking in a better way," Souza told MMAFighting.com. "I’m not afraid of the takedowns anymore. When I fought (Felipe Arantes), I was moving forward but always worried about the takedowns. But now I’m sure that if Mark tries to take me down, he’s going to eat a knee in the face and I’ll keep beating him standing."
"I trained a lot in Curitiba for this fight against Mark," he continued. "I started my camp four months ago. I was tested every day in the gym, so I evolved a lot as a fighter. I’m super happy to be fighting a ‘gringo’ now."
Souza plans to finish Eddiva at TUF: Brazil 3 Finale, but finding information about his opponent was harder than he thought.
"I always go for the knockout. But I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t find much about him," he said. "I saw a couple videos and he has some good kicks, but his jiu-jitsu is not as aggressive as the Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He’s a dangerous guy, but he doesn’t scare me at all."
This is going to be Souza’s first fight since moving from Thiago Tavares’ team to Cristiano Marcello’s CM System, and the featherweight feels blessed to train with the man who trained legends of the sport in the past at Chute Boxe.
"It’s kind of crazy that I’m now training with him now," he said. "He’s part of the history of the sport. When I didn’t even think about fighting yet, he was already competing at the highest level. He trained some of the best in the world, like Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva, so it makes me confident that he’ll make me a champion in the future."