The win is the first world title for the 28-year-old de Souza. (9NEWS)
Mick Fanning has narrowly lost out on a fourth world title surfing championship, after Brazilian Adriano de Souza progressed through to the Pipeline Masters final.
Fanning lost to Gabriel Medina in the Hawaiian competition’s first semi-final, after the 21-year-old Medina landed an impressive last-minute air.
De Souza went on to win the world championship in the second semi-final, where he defeated Hawaiian Mason Ho 6.83 to 3.83.
The 28-year-old is now celebrating his first World Surfing League title, which comes eight years after he first joined the tour.
December 18, 2015: Adriano De Souza won his first World Surfing League World Title, beating wildcard Mason Ho in the second semi-final and clinching the title from Aussie surfer, Mick Fanning.
In an emotional post-heat interview, he cried and paid tribute to Brazilian surfer Ricardo dos Santos, who was shot dead in January.
“It’s incredible feeling,” De Souza said.
“I have this tattoo in memory of his life, and it say, ‘Strength, Balance and Love’, that’s all I need this year to win this world title.
“I thought Mick deserved it more than me, he’s such a strong man, and three times world-time champion, and I guess people fighting for their first one, you know,” he said.
December 18, 2015: Australian surfer Mick Fanning has kept his world title hopes alive after beating 11-time champion Kelly Slater in the quarter-finals of the Pipeline Masters.
“I wish so much to give a hug to Mick’s mum”.
De Souza then went on to win the event, defeating his fellow Brazilian Medina 14.07 to 8.50 in the final and last WSL event of the year.
Earlier, Fanning had led most of his quarter-final heat against Medina, but ultimately went down 11.33 to 10.36.
The end of the professional season also marks the end of a traumatic year for Fanning.
In July, he survived a shark attack at the J-Bay Open in South Africa, the incident broadcast on live television.
Take a look at the extended footage of the shocking shark attack on surf champion Mick Fanning.
Fanning was sitting in the line-up of Jeffreys Bay near fellow competitor Julian Wilson when a shark, believed to be a great white, bit into his board and thrashed in the water.
The three times world champ said the incident had left him shaken and afraid.
Yesterday, he woke to the news his older brother, 43-year-old Peter Fanning, had died overnight in a Tweed Heads unit.
The Queensland athlete was told only hours before he paddled out for his semi-final against Kelly Slater, which he won.
July 20, 2015: All in the space of a few seconds, Mick Fanning was the unluckiest – and the luckiest – surfer on the planet after being attacked by a shark off South Africa.
In a post-heat interview, he broke down and said he was dealing with “heavy” personal news and was “just trying to live”.
Last night, Fanning took to Instagram to thank fans for the support and said it had been a “challenging day”.
“I am so grateful for the incredible love and well wishes that have come my way since learning of my eldest brother’s passing this morning,” he wrote.
“Peter will always be a hero to me. Today was one of the most challenging days of my life but I knew I could find the strength to take part in the final event of the season because that’s what Pete would want”.
Fanning hugs his mum Liz after winning his quarter-final this morning. (Twitter – @ripcurl_usa)