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Priscila Souza dominates, claims inaugural Shooto Brazil women’s bantamweight title

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Guilherme Cruz MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Shooto Brazil returned to the Hebraica Club in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night to crown a new champion.

The 25-year-old bantamweight Priscila Souza (8-4), nine years younger than her opponent Luciana Pereira (5-4-1), dominated the Nova Uniao veteran for three rounds with an aggressive style. While Pereira focused on keeping her opponent with her back against the cage, Souza used the openings to land hard punches.

At the end of the fight, Souza was crowned the new champion via split decision.

"I’m shorter than my opponent, but I trained with Jessica Andrade, who fights in the UFC, and was very confident to strike," Souza said after the win. "I’m a jiu-jitsu fighter, but I train in a team that gets us ready to fight anyone. For this title fight, my coaches set a strategy to keep it standing and surprise her. I followed their instructions and won this belt."

In the main event, Felipe Olivieri (14-4) made good use of the new Shooto Brazil rules. The promotion, which banned elbows on the ground in the past, now allows the strikes, and that’s exactly how Olivieri defeated Alvaro Francescon (6-3).

When "Pastor" went for a takedown, Olivieri landed five elbows to the side of his head, forcing referee Osiris Maia to stop the action. Olivieri has now won three in a row with three first-round finishes.

"After one year and four months away with a shoulder injury, I’m more than happy to be back with this victory," Olivieri said after the main event. "It’s not easy for a fighter to stay out that long, but I know that the difference between success and failure is one step. I tried again and was the winner. We learn a lot with the losses, and I learned not to relax for a minute. I stayed focused the entire time and won."

Shooto Brazil returns to Hebraica Club on May 16. The promotion has yet to announce the fight card. Check below the complete results of Shooto Brazil 53:

Felipe Olivieri def. Alvaro Francescon via TKO (1st, 1:40)
Priscila Souza def. Luciana Pereira via split decision
Luciano Benício def. Eliel dos Santos via submission (arm-triangle choke) (3rd, 3:39)
Alcides Nunes def. Junior Goncalves via submission (anaconda choke) (1st, 0:49)
Ronaldo Candido def. Julio Cesar Moraes via submission (rear-naked choke) (3rd, 2:11)
Augustin Zas def. Heider Prais via TKO (retirement) (2nd, 3:24)
Claudio Coutinho def. Danilo Gomes via submission (armbar) (2nd, 3:01)