Forer Bellator middleweight champion and BJJ legend Rafael Lovato Jr. is back from MMA retirement.
The American BJJ legend made a successful return to MMA after talking time off MMA three and a half years ago because of cavernoma, a rare brain condition.
Lovato (11-0) used his trademark to the Japanese Taiga Iwasaki (8-1) in the first round of their 195-pound fight. The fight took place at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2022 in Tokyo.
— YalaB (Roberto de Souza Fan Account) (@wolajustowska) December 28, 2022
Lovato had said that that he would be returning to MMA despite his rare medical condition that made step back from MMA.
Lovato said “Retired is not quite the word I like to use, instead I was sidelined and I’m hoping that’s indefinite, not definite. I definitely want to fight at least one more time. I’ve heard doctors say “You should definitely not fight” and then I’ve heard some say “No, it’s super low risk” I just know that I want to be back in the cage.”
After walking away from MMA, Lovato returned to BJJ and Grappling competitions in 2020.
In July 2019, BJJ world champion Rafael Lovato made history. The undefeated MMA fighter (10-0 MMA) dominated and took a decision win over the dangerous veteran Gegard Mousasi in the main event of Belllator London at SSE Arena, Wembley.
Lovato was a guest on the Joe Rogan podcast and he announced that he suffers from cavernoma, on multiple positions on his brain.
Cavernoma a cluster of abnormal blood vessels, usually found in the brain and spinal cord.
A typical cavernoma looks like a raspberry. It’s filled with blood that flows slowly through vessels that are like “caverns”.
A cavernoma can vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres across.
Lovato said that he is not retiring but that he’s on the sidelines as he gets it checked out. Doctors are telling him to have 6 months without any MMA sparring. Lovato is 39. He said that some doctors even told him that even Jiu-Jitsu is dangerous for him.
Lovato remains undefeated in his professional MMA career and holds notable wins over fighters such as Mousasi, Kevin Holland and Gerald Harris.
Learn The Best Ways To Add the Kimura to Your Game Using Legendary Strategies from BJJ Pioneer and Champion MMA Fighter Rafael Lovato Jr.!
- Rafael Lovato Jr. has been competing in BJJ for over 20 years and is one of the most decorated American Back Belts in BJJ history claiming IBJJF world titles in gi and no gi, Brazilian Nationals Gold (first American to do so), and he boasts a 10-0 MMA record .
- Lovato Jr. has been using the kimura since he was 15 years old and the submission remains his most trusted method of finishing his opponents.