It seems as though fans may be in line to see the return of Rafael Lovato Jr to professional MMA despite him previously being diagnosed with a brain condition, a cerebral cavernoma. At least, that’s if Lovato Jr gets the wish he’s outlined in a post on his official Instagram account, and can get medically cleared to fight in 2021. The four-time IBJJF World Champion was forced out of action at the very peak of his athletic career, shortly after he won the Bellator Middleweight World Championship in the tenth fight of his undefeated MMA career.
It’s undeniable that Rafael Lovato Jr still has the hunger to compete, and unsurprising that he would make a return to MMA if he could, given how active he’s become on the BJJ scene since leaving the sport. He’s already got to work fighting superfights on shows like BJJ Stars, and come back to the IBJJF circuit in the Masters division, where he got to the final of the World Championships against Gregor Gracie. He’s also shown no signs of backing down from a challenge after one was issued by the greatest no gi grappler on the planet right now, Gordon Ryan, and he immediately accepted the offer to compete against him.
“Retired is not quite the word I like to use, instead I was sidelined and I’m hoping that’s indefinite, not definite. I definitely want to fight at least one more time. I’ve heard doctors say “You should definitely not fight” and then I’ve heard some say “No, it’s super low risk” I just know that I want to be back in the cage.”