Rafael Lovato Jr., one of the most successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes of all time and a former Bellator middleweight champion, returned to the octagon after a 42 months long hiatus… And submitted Taiga Iwasaki at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2022 in Tokyo.
However, Lovato Jr. is unsure about fighting MMA in the future because of his health.
It was precisely because of cavernoma, a brain condition that involves abnormally formed blood vessels, that he was forced to put his MMA career on hold immediately after he won the championship title by beating Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 223.
He explained what’s happening now in an interview on SiriusXM Fight Nation:
I thought so long and hard about just getting one more, and being able to close the chapter on my MMA career, my way. It took three and a half years.
All this time passed, but it happened, and it’s hard to believe that it did happen. It’s a dream come true. And now, here we are, and I have a whole new set of things to think about if an opportunity does come.
Lovato Jr. emphasized that he has to think about not just himself, but his family too:
I am almost 40 now. I just became a father of twins this year. So, I’m at a different stage.
But like I said, I still feel good, and if it’s a very enticing opportunity, then I’ll definitely consider it and we’ll see what happens.
I’m very happy, and life is good no matter what.
“I thought so hard about getting one more (fight) and being able to close the chapter on my MMA career, my way.”
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) January 4, 2023