Brazilian welterweight Marcos Souza has signed with Rizin. He is a veteran of multiple Quintet bouts who has frequently competed in submission grappling tournaments as well as MMA bouts in Japan.

Souza holds an 8-1 professional record and is the reigning Real FC 170lbs champion. He hails from Brazil but has spent his entire career competing in Asia.

Souza is a decorated BJJ black belt and has been based in Japan since 2007. He and his brothers own a chain of academies and he has won numerous tournaments including the IBJJF Asian Championships.

Souza is expected to make his debut at Rizin 18 which is set for Nagoya on August 18th. This will be only the third time in the promotion’s history that it has held a 170lbs fight.

Shinya Aoki stopped Kazushi Sakuraba on the inaugural Rizin card in a 170lbs fight. Kiichi Kunimoto also competed at welterweight but was subsequently released and signed with Bellator.

It remains to be seen who Souza will be matched with. But his signing suggests Rizin is serious about starting a welterweight division.