How a Failed Attempt at Zumba Led to a Pro MMA Career for Victoria Souza

·2-min read

With zero exemptions, everyone deals with stress in one way or another. Be it through work life, social life or other, stress is inevitable and different people cope in different ways.

For ONE Championship atomweight newcomer Victoria Souza, holding an office job as a business administrator at age 16 was her main source of stress. Like many, the Brazilian enrolled at a local gym, believing exercise would help her cope with stress.

She initially planned on joining light-hearted Zumba dance classes, but somehow surprisingly wound up in the cage.

“[Business Administration] was stressful work, I wanted something that could help me out and keep me calm and cool. So I went out and looked for a gym because I wanted to try Zumba dancing,” said Souza, who competes at ONE: REVOLUTION on September 24, live at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“But the gym I ended up at didn’t have Zumba. Some guys there suggested that I try training in Muay Thai, so I gave it a shot.”

Souza’s open mindedness and willingness to try a new form of exercise would eventually set her on a path of destiny. One Muay Thai class led to another, opening the door for her to eventually fall in love with other disciplines of martial arts, as well as a desire to try her hand at mixed martial arts.

“After some time, the people at the gym told me that if I wanted to compete in MMA, I would also need to learn jiu-jitsu… So, six months months after I learned Muay Thai, I started jiu-jitsu,” Souza said.

A few years later, and Souza is now preparing to make her ONE Championship debut when she takes on teenage sensation Victoria Lee. Souza currently holds a perfect MMA record of 5-0 with two knockouts and two submissions. The fight against Lee will be her highest profile bout to date and the culmination of hard work and maintaining an open mind.

Souza admits trying to get back into Zumba recently, but ultimately decided it just wasn’t for her.

“I have tried Zumba one more time since, but I’m terrible at dancing. I’m much better at fighting,” Souza said. “I have officially quit Zumba.”

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