Kevin Souza has Twitter to thank for his recent contract with Bellator MMA. He signed with the company to replace an injured Derek Campos at Bellator 152 with only five days notice.
Souza was cut by the UFC back in December, and was going to return to the cage in June for Final Fight Championship in Croatia. A week after the bout was announced, Souza was tagged on Twitter by a fan, asking if he would fight Patricio Freire at Bellator 153.
"Patricio’s opponent got injured and he tweeted that he needed someone to step up, and this guy tagged me on Twitter," Souza told MMAFighting. "I was playing video game with my teammates when I saw this tweet."
It was that tweet that sparked Souza to get his representation involved:
"I sent it to my manager, Glenn (Robinson). He liked the idea and contacted Bellator offering me to fight Patricio, but we couldn’t get the fight."
Ultimately Henry Corrales stepped in at Bellator 153 to replace Teixeira. Souza went back to training for his fight in Croatia. Then, a day later, Derek Campos pulled out of his fight with Patricio's brother, Patricky Freire.
"I forgot about it, but 24 hours later Glenn called me again saying ‘man, they just called me asking if you want to fight Patricky at 155 pounds in Italy. What do you think?,’" Souza said.
"I couldn’t believe it. I asked him if he was kidding me, and accepted it right away. I even joked that we threw the bait at one ‘Pitbull’ and got the other."
Souza, a featherweight, thinks that taking a fight at 155 pounds on short notice shouldn't be that much of an issue for him. In fact, there might even be some benefits.
"It’s not a problem. In fact, it helps me because I don’t have to cut weight and all that. It’s fine," Souza remarked.
At the time he was offered the fight, Souza was at 162 pounds.
"I will be faster because it’s the weight I’m used to train at anyway, so it’s all positive for me. I took this fight on five days’ notice and I have no pressure over me. It’s wonderful."
Now that Souza has signed with Bellator he can start looking to the future, beyond Bellator 152:
"There are so many possibilities after this fight that I don't even think about it. My focus is on Patricky. After that, the whole world will have doors open to me."
As for the UFC?
"No hard feeling. Quite the opposite, actually. I have to thank the UFC for putting me in another level. Life goes on," Souza said.
In fact, his only problem with the UFC comes in the form of HOW he was let go.
"I wasn't happy with the fact that I was cut with no explanation. They said 'win a couple fights and you will be back', but I've seen fighters go 10-0 or 12-0 and never come back. I didn't want that hope. And now that I've signed with Bellator, that's in the past."