Rafael Lovato Jr. has done it all.
He is a legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, as well as a successful MMA athlete – who’s been a Bellator middleweight world champion.
Now almost 40 years old, Lovato feels like he has nothing more to prove.
However, he still feels that “fire” within, as he emphasized in a recent conversation with the Grappling Insider:
Right now it’s very pure because I don’t have anything to prove.
I’ve already made my mark. I’ve made my history and I can say today that it really is just pure love of it all the way.
And in many ways, I feel like I’m doing better because of that, because it is a little more pure.
I don’t have the same pressure to make my name or to achieve a lifelong dream.
He hasn’t competed in Jiu-Jitsu for quite a while, due to being focused on MMA.
However, Lovato is now back in the game and continues to walk the Gentle Art path:
Now I’m back in jiu-jitsu, I’m not even a top-10 guy.
A lot of people don’t even know who I am because I had been away in MMA, and I had to re-find myself all over again, and there were a lot of hardships in that, but I went for it and I stayed on the path, and I really found my stride at the end of ‘21…
I had a really good ‘22. I didn’t win but I was still proud of going out on my shield and going out for one more.
So where does Rafael’s motivation come from these days?
Well, one of the motivation sources are certainly his twins:
Definitely this last year, becoming a father really motivated me in a different way. Wanting to be the example.
I want them to know that their father gave it all and never gave up.