Rafael Lovato Jr has just announced that he will be taking at least one more fight in his combat sports career, much to the excitement of fans of elite grappling. He has long been one of the most successful American grapplers to ever set foot on the mats, as he won an IBJJF world championship and three IBJJF no gi world championships throughout his career. More than that though, he was a permanent fixture on the podium of those events for around a decade and routinely gave fans some of the most exciting matches at those events.
In 2014, Rafael Lovato Jr decided to take his first professional MMA fight and the first round submission-win was a sign of things to come. He went on a fantastic run at LFA that saw him register another three finishes in his first four professional MMA fights. That earned him an offer to compete for Bellator, and Lovato Jr took the opportunity in his stride. He rattled off another five wins for the promotion that included four finishes and earned himself a shot at the welterweight title. Lovato Jr had the toughest fight of his career against Gegard Mousasi but he maintained his undefeated streak and became the new Bellator welterweight world champion.
That’s when disaster struck for Lovato Jr and he was forced to retire from professional MMA as the result of a brain condition. Although he was vocal about the fact that he wanted to return to the sport, that seemed unlikely given his medical issues. He seemed to content with returning to professional grappling for a while and put in some great performances, most notably at ADCC 2022 where he turned back the clock and finished fourth in an incredibly tough under 99kg division.
Then at the end of 2022 the unthinkable happened and he managed to make his return to professional MMA at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye. He dominated his opponent in impressive fashion and found another first-round submission win to extend his undefeated record to a phenomenal 11-0. Things have been quiet since then, but now Rafael Lovato Jr has revealed that he will be taking on at least one more fight soon enough. He hasn’t confirmed whether this will be in MMA or in professional grappling, and there’s no news as to when the fight will take place just yet.
Rafael Lovato Jr announced the news that he has signed a contract for another fight in a recent post to his official Instagram account: