Rafael Lovato Jr and Gabriel Almeida have just been announced as the two men to meet in the blockbuster headline match for the upcoming Fight 2 Win 166 event. The news comes after the promotion decided to take a week off from their non-stop delivery of high-quality events in 2021, with their most recent outing being their second all-female event at Fight 2 Win 165. This matchup will mark one of the biggest clashes between two high-profile names that the promotion have ever managed to stage at this point.
Almeida has only competed once in 2021 so far, back at Fight 2 Win 160 where he dropped a competitive decision to Pedro Marinho. Prior to that however, he was on something of a hot-streak after taking home double gold at the American No Gi Nationals and a bronze and silver medal at the gi edition of the same event. The man who will be standing across from Gabriel Almeida at F2W 166 really doesn’t need much of an introduction, as Rafael Lovato Jr is one of the most successful American grapplers of all time.
Lovato Jr won both the gi and no gi edition of the IBJJF World Championships and has so far racked up a hundred victories in his competitive career since becoming a black belt. He left the competitive BJJ scene in 2014 in order to focus primarily on his MMA career, where he went undefeated over ten professional fights and eventually became the Bellator Middleweight World Champion before being forced into retirement due to a rare brain condition.
He’s since started competing in Jiu-Jitsu again, both on the superfight circuit and the IBJJF Masters division as he still has plenty of time left in in his athletic career. Despite his medical issues, Lovato Jr has publicly revealed that he still has the desire to compete in MMA and he would love to take on at least one more fight before retiring on his own terms. While this seems unlikely at present, at least fans will still get to see Lovato Jr back on the mats against elite grapplers like Almeida at Fight 2 Win 166.
The full Fight 2 Win 166 event will be available to watch live on March 13th on FloGrappling, click here to subscribe.
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