Rafael Lovato Jr might have retired from MMA competition but the IBJJF legend is nowhere near done with his time on the mats and he’s setting himself up for life with the unveiling of his new academy. He gave the tour of his new school in a post on his official Instagram account, where he explained that renovations on the property began all the way back in 2019 and he had planned to make the grand opening at some point in 2020. Obviously that was before the Coronavirus pandemic hit and scuppered plans for gyms across the world, as a result of the restrictions put in place Rafael Lovato Jr had to work hard to get through the year and come out on the other side with his dream academy.
This isn’t the only piece of big news for the American grappler this year as he also announced recently that he wants to make a return to professional MMA, despite his recent diagnosis of a rare brain condition. Of course, whether or not that’s ever possible remains unknown as there are many doctors who would not sanction someone with his condition to compete in a combat sports event with strikes involved. As a result, he’s been making alternative plans as well and has recently verbally agreed to take on the best no gi grappler on the planet right now, Gordon Ryan, in a match that ‘the king’ declared he wanted.
Lovato Jr’s competitive career is very up in the air at present, but at least he’s got something fantastic out of this year as he appears to be truly overjoyed by how his academy has turned out. Whether he competes against Gordon Ryan, makes a return to professional MMA, or even just continues competing on the IBJJF Master’s circuit, he’ll definitely be happy with where he does his preparation from now on.