Rafael Lovato Jr recently sat down with Jimmy Smith to discuss whether or not he will be continuing his MMA career any further after his most recent comeback fight. Lovato Jr had been away from professional MMA for over three years when he decided to compete at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye x Ganryujima event on December 30th, 2022. It took Lovato Jr just a little over two minutes to submit his opponent, Taiga Iwasaki, with a gut-wrenching kimura. Although he’s no doubt happy with the result, this may very well be the last time we ever see Lovato Jr competing in MMA:
“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.”
One of the many new things that he has to think about is his brand new academy, which is still only around two years old at the moment. Although being a huge name in the world of grappling and MMA will obviously benefit Rafael Lovato Jr in his career as a coach, it’s still not an easy road for anyone to walk down. Not only that, but Lovato Jr has other things changing in his personal life that might lend to his MMA career coming to an end:
“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.”
While he’s clearly unsure what the future holds for his career, Rafael Lovato Jr hasn’t closed the door on another MMA fight entirely and we may well see him back in action again some time soon. After winning his comeback fight in style and putting in a performance for the ages at ADCC 2022, it’s clear that there’s plenty of fight left in him.
A clip from the interview with Rafael Lovato Jr where he discusses whether or not he’ll be continuing his MMA career after his comeback fight was uploaded to the official Twitter account of MMA on SiriusXM:
"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