Jackson Sousa Suspended from Checkmat, Dropped by Sponsor Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment and a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior, black belt competitor Jackson Sousa has been suspended by Checkmat, released from associations with gyms, and dropped by one of his sponsors, Shoyoroll.

The allegations against Sousa, made by multiple women, describe Sousa as being predatory, manipulative, sexually inappropriate, and in at least one case, physically threatening. Those allegations were initially collected and distributed by UK BJJ black belt Samantha Cook, and can be read below.

The allegations against Sousa range from using his position of power to attempt to coerce women, to pursuing a relationship with a teenager, to physically forcing himself on a woman.

“Jackson is a sexual predator who has harassed multiple women all over the world,” wrote Cook.

As a result of the numerous allegations, Sousa’s primary sponsor, Shoyoroll, chose to cut ties with Sousa.

“In light of the recent outpouring from the female BJJ community entailing sexually predatory and abusive behavior from prominent male athletes, Shoyoroll has made the decision to formally end all sponsorship and affiliation with Jackson Sousa,” the longtime jiu-jitsu apparel brand wrote on Instagram.

Additionally, the head of Checkmat BJJ, Leo Vieira, issued a statement formally suspending Sousa from Checkmat.

“The allegations against Jackson Sousa show a pervasive pattern of abuse and manipulation, and Checkmat is saddened and appalled his reported behavior. He has been suspended from Checkmat, and a thorough review is ongoing,” Vieira stated.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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