Rafael Lovato Jr.

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Rafael Lovato Jr.
Born (1983-06-25) June 25, 1983 (age 35)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
ResidenceOklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
NationalityAmerican
EthnicitySpanish-American
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
Reach77 12 in (197 cm)
StyleBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu
TeamLovato Jiu-Jitsu Association
Rank     4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Saulo Ribeiro
Years active2014–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total9
Wins9
By knockout2
By submission6
By decision1
Losses0
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Rafael Lovato Jr.
Medal record
Representing  United States
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Grappling
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2007 California, USA +100 kg
Silver medal – second place 2008 California, USA -100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2009 California, USA -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2010 California, USA -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2011 California, USA -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2012 California, USA -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2013 California, USA -100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2014 California, USA -94 kg
World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2010 California, USA -91.5 kg
Gold medal – first place 2011 California, USA -85.5 kg
Silver medal – second place 2012 California, USA -91.5 kg
Gold medal – first place 2013 California, USA +97.5 kg
Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2007 California, USA -100 kg
Gold medal – first place 2008 California, USA -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2009 California, USA -94 kg
Silver medal – second place 2010 California, USA -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2012 California, USA -94 kg
European Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2007 Lisbon, Portugal -100 kg
Nogi World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2011 Abu Dhabi, UAE -92kg
Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2007 São Paulo, Brazil -100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2010 São Paulo, Brazil -100 kg
Silver medal – second place 2010 São Paulo, Brazil Absolute
Bronze medal – third place 2013 São Paulo, Brazil -100 kg
Gold medal – first place 2013 São Paulo, Brazil Absolute

Rafael Lovato Jr. (born June 22, 1983) is an American BJJ competitor and instructor currently competing in the Middleweight division of Bellator MMA.

Early life[edit]

Lovato was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but his family moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma when he was eight years old. The son of a Jeet Kune Do instructor, Lovato studied a variety of martial arts in his youth, including boxing, before discovering Brazilian jiu-jitsu at age 13.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu career[edit]

Although Lovato is known as a successful competitor in high-level competition, he is particularly notable for being the second American (B.J. Penn being the first) to win the World Jiu Jitsu Championship as a black belt.[1]

Lovato is a black belt under Carlos Machado, the oldest of the Machado family. [2] Rafael has had a long and formative training history with Xande and Saulo Ribeiro, one which began after he competed against Saulo in the finals of the 2003 Arnold Classic, when Rafael was just 19 years old.[3]

Lovato currently manages his own academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Lovato made his professional MMA debut in September 2014 for the Legacy Fighting Championship promotion. He fought for the organization four times over the next two years. He went undefeated and won and defended the company's Middleweight Championship.

Bellator MMA[edit]

In March 2017, Lovato made his debut for Bellator MMA. He faced Charles Hackmann at Bellator 174 and won the fight via TKO just 13 seconds into the first round.

In his second Bellator bout, Lovato faced Mike Rhodes at Bellator 181 on July 14, 2017. Rafael Lovato Jr. won the fight via submission in the first round.[5]

Lovato faced Chris Honeycutt at Bellator 189 on December 1, 2017 [6] and Rafael Lovato Jr. won the fight by unanimous decision.

Lovato was expected to face John Salter at Bellator 198 on April 28, 2018. John Salter was later pulled from the event by the Illinois Athletic Commission due to an eye issue on April 24 and replaced by Gerald Harris.[7] Rafael Lovato Jr. won the fight via armbar submission in the first round.[8]

Lovato faced John Salter on September 21, 2018 at Bellator 205.[9] Rafael Lovato Jr. won the fight via a submission.[10]

Lovato was scheduled to face Gegard Mousasi for the Bellator Middleweight World Championship. This bout was expected to serve as the co-headliner of Bellator 214.[11] On December 20, 2018, it was reported that Mousasi pulled from the fight, citing a back injury and Lovato was pulled from the card.[12] The bout against Mousasi is now set to take place at Bellator 223 on June 22, 2019 in London, England.[13]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 9–0 John Salter Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 205 September 21, 2018 3 4:27 Boise, Idaho, United States
Win 8–0 Gerald Harris Submission (armbar) Bellator 198 April 28, 2018 1 1:11 Rosemont, Illinois, United States
Win 7–0 Chris Honeycutt Decision (unanimous) Bellator 189 December 1, 2017 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 6–0 Mike Rhodes Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 181 July 14, 2017 1 1:59 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 5–0 Charles Hackmann TKO (knees and punches) Bellator 174 March 3, 2017 1 0:13 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 4–0 Cortez Coleman Submission (armbar) Legacy Fighting Championship 62 November 11, 2016 3 4:04 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States Defended the Legacy FC Middleweight Championship
Win 3–0 Marcelo Nunes TKO (punches) Legacy Fighting Championship 54 April 22, 2016 2 4:51 Catoosa, Oklahoma, United States Won the Legacy FC Middleweight Championship
Win 2–0 Kevin Holland Submission (rear naked choke) Legacy Fighting Championship 46 October 2, 2015 1 1:24 Allen, Texas, United States
Win 1–0 Canaan Grigsby Submission (arm-triangle choke) Legacy Fighting Championship 35 September 26, 2014 1 4:07 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

[14]

See also[edit]

External link Professional MMA record for Rafael Lovato Jr. from Sherdog

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thapa, Ben (October 26, 2011). "Grappler Interviews: Rafael Lovato Jr". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  2. ^ "Rafael Lovato Jr". BJJ Heroes BJJ Fighter Database. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  3. ^ "Rafael Lovato Jr (Gracie Humaita)". BJJ Heroes. August 1, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  4. ^ "Rafael Lovato Jr. - Gi & No-Gi Black Belt World Champion". Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  5. ^ John Morgan (July 14, 2017). "Bellator 181 results: Derek Campos scores trilogy win over Brandon Girtz in blood-soaked instant classic". mmajunkie.com.
  6. ^ Staff (October 6, 2017). "Featherweight champ Julia Budd headlines Bellator 189 in rematch with Arlene Blencowe". mmajunkie.com.
  7. ^ Steve Juon (April 25, 2018). "Bellator 198 fight card shakeup: Gerald Harris vs Rafael Lovato Jr. booked with John Salter scratched". mmamania.com.
  8. ^ "Bellator 198 results: Rafael Lovato Jr. makes easy work of Gerald Harris". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-29. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  9. ^ "John Salter ready for both he and Rafael Lovato Jr. to be 'carried out of the cage' at Bellator 205". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  10. ^ "Bellator 205 results: Rafael Lovato Jr. stays perfect, taps out gritty John Salter". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-22. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  11. ^ "Gegard Mousasi vs Rafael Lovato Jr. booked for Bellator 214". MMAFighting.com. November 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Gegard Mousasi injured, out of Bellator 214 title fight with Rafael Lovato Jr". www.mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  13. ^ "Mousasi vs. Lovato Jr. title fight set for Bellator London in June; Daley, Gallagher to compete". mmajunkie.com. March 29, 2019.
  14. ^ Sherdog.com. "Rafael Lovato Jr. MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography - Sherdog.com". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-12-21.