Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu store for Jits Magazine
Rafael Lovato Jr

Rafael Lovato Junior is a grappler who made history twice in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, first after by being the first non Brazilian to win the Brazilian National Championship (also known as the “Brasileiro”) in BJJ’s black belt division, he would later rewrite is name in the tournament’s history by winning the open weight division for the first time also (2013). Rafael Lovato Jr. was also the 2nd American to win the World Championship in the black belt division.

Rafael Lovato Jr Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Rafael Lovato Junior

Nickname: n/a

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Carlos Machado > Rafael Lovato Jr

Main Titles:

  • World Champion (2007);
  • World NoGi Champion (2010);
  • Brazilian National Champion (2007, 2013 absolute);
  • Pan American Champion (2008, 2007);
  • European Champion (2007);
  • Professional Submission League X-Mission Champion (2006);
  • Grappler’s Quest West Advanced No-Gi Champion (2005);
  • ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships Quarterfinalist (2007)

Weight Division: Pesado (Heavyweight) 94kg-207lbs

Favourite Position/Technique: Both Guard & Passing.

Team/Association: Gracie Humaitá/University of Jiu Jitsu

Rafael Lovato Jr Biography

Rafael Lovato was born on the 25th of June of 1983 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America, though he moved to Oklahoma City when he was 8 years of age. Rafael’s father was an incredible Martial Artist which made young Rafael’s contact with combat sports inevitable. Still has a child Lovato Junior got involved with boxing (his first true love by his own admission) and later with Jeet Kwon Do. When Rafael was 13 he started his tuition in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through his father who was taking classes in Dallas from Carlos Machado. Lovato senior would travel to the Texan city once a week to have private classes with Machado and then practice what he learned with his son, as he grew, Rafael Junior started joining his father on the trips to Dallas.

When Rafael got to brown belt, he was already considered one of the toughest American competitors in the BJJ scene, and a hot prospect for the future. Lovato’s relationship with Saulo Ribeiro started around that time, when Rafael was 19 years of age. It was 2003 and Rafael had reached the final of the Arnold Invitational against Saulo Ribeiro, the two fought and in the end of the fight Saulo invited Rafael to come and train with him in Brazil. Rafael accepted the invitation and later that year he visited Ribeiro. There the relationship between the two turned into a friendship and Lovato saw the potential of having a coach like Saulo beside him.

In the beginning of 2004 Rafael Lovato was invited to help Marc Laimon prepare for his fight with Ryron Gracie. The two spent 3 months as roomates in that training camp, creating a strong friendship that still stands today. After that camp Rafael received his black belt in Jiu Jitsu on August 2004, just after his 21st birthday. In 2005 Rafael moved for good to the Ribeiro brothers academy (Saulo and Alexandre) and made the most out of the new coaching, reaching the podium of most major tournaments he set foot on. In 2007 he achieved the greatest glory of them all, winning the World Championship.

In 2013 Rafael Lovato Junior won the Brazilian National Championship in the open weight division, being the first non Brazilian man to win the coveted trophy.

Rafael Lovato Fight Stats

1 by sub
11 by Points (44%)
2 by Advantages (8%)
0 by Penalties (0%)
10 by Submission (40%)
2 by Decision (8%)
0 by Disqualified (0%)
1 by Armbar (10%)
1 by Darce choke (10%)
Darce choke
2 by Kimura (20%)
2 by Mata leao (20%)
Mata leao
1 by Submission (10%)
3 by Triangle (30%)
14 by Points (60.87%)
3 by Advantages (13%)
0 by Penalties (0%)
5 by Submission (21.74%)
1 by Decision (4.35%)
0 by Disqualified (0%)
1 by Armbar (20%)
1 by Choke from back (20%)
Choke from back
1 by Cross choke (20%)
Cross choke
1 by Estima lock (20%)
Estima lock
1 by Heel hook (20%)
Heel hook

Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
815Roger GracieRoger GracieLArmbarPan AmericanAbsoluteSemi f.2006
898Demian MaiaDemian MaiaLPointsADCCU88kg1/4 final2007
967Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLChoke from backWorld Champ.Absolute1/4 final2008
978Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLPts: 5x0World Pro.Absolute1/4 final2009
1028Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLEstima lockADCCU88kgSemi-f.2009
1118Alexandre SouzaAlexandre SouzaLPts: 2x0World Champ.U94kgSemi f.2009
1133Roger GracieRoger GracieLCross chokeWorld Champ.Absolute1/4 final2009
1209Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPts: 3x0BrasileiroAbsoluteFinal2010
1244Lucio RodriguesLucio RodriguesLPts: 6x2EuropeanU100kgFinal2011
1313Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPts: 2x0World Champ.Absolute1/4 final2011
1463Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraLPts: 20x2World Champ.U94kgSemi f.2011
1559Rousimar PalharesRousimar PalharesLHeel hookADCCU88Semi f.s2011
1567Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchLPointsADCCU883 & 4 Place2011
1693Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPts: 4x2European OpenAbsoluteSemi f.2012
1814Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLAdvPan AmericanU94kgSemi f.2012
1893Vitor ToledoVitor ToledoLAdvWorld Pro.U88kgSemi f.2012
2147Romulo BarralRomulo BarralLPts: 5x2World Champ.U88kgSemi f.2012
2297Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLRefree DecisionMetamoris 2OpenSuperfight2013
2567Joao RochaJoao RochaLPts: 10x0World Champ.U100kgSemi f.2013
2620Romulo BarralRomulo BarralLPointsADCCU88kgFinal2013
2685Lucio RodriguesLucio RodriguesLPts: 2x0EuropeanU100kgFinal2014
2816Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLAdvPan AmericanU94kgSemi f.2014
3084Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLPts: 5x0World Champ.U94kgSemi f.2014
1023Tom LawlorWPointsADCCU88kgRd 12009
1027Bruno BastosBruno BastosWDarce chokeADCCU88kg1/4 final2009
1116Fernando PieroFernando PieroWAdvWorld Champ.U94kg1/4 final2009
1172Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaWPts: 7x0Pan AmericanU94kgFinal2010
1184Roberto AlencarRoberto AlencarWRefree DecisionNo Gi WorldsU94kgFinal2010
1296Mick WilsonWPts: 2x0World Champ.Absolute1st2011
1308Antonio CarlosAntonio CarlosWTriangleWorld Champ.AbsoluteRd 22011
1406Fernando PieroFernando PieroWTriangleWorld Champ.U94kg2nd2011
1444Renan VitalWArmbarWorld Champ.U94kg1/4 Final2011
1513Jeon Doo KwangWMata leaoADCCU88kgRd 12011
1544Kyle GriffinWTriangleADCCU881/4 Finals2011
1628Frederico MoncaioWMata LeaoNo Gi WorldsU88kg1/4 final2011
1642Otavio SousaOtavio SousaWPts: 4x0No Gi WorldsU88kgSemi f.2011
1653Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWPts: 4x0No Gi WorldsU88kgFinal2011
1690Igor SilvaIgor SilvaWKimuraEuropean OpenAbsolute1/4 final2012
1811Igor AraújoWPointsPan AmericanU94kgRd 22012
1887Rodrigo ClarkWSubmissionWorld Pro.U88kgRd 12012
1890Roberto FonsecaWPointsWorld Pro.U88kg1/4 final2012
2145Dimitrius SouzaWRefree DecisionWorld Champ.U88kg1/4 final2012
2208Kayron GracieKayron GracieWKimuraMetamorisAbsoluteSuperfight2012
2564Antonio PeinadoAntonio PeinadoWPts: 5x0World Champ.U100kg1/4 Final2013
2617Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWPointsADCCU88kgSemi f.2013
2655Fabiano SchernerWAdvNoGi WorldsO100kgFinal2013
2813Bueno/AllianceWPointsPan AmericanU94kg1/4 final2014
3081Jackson SousaJackson SousaWPts: 2x0World Champ.U94kg1/4 Final2014

Banner photo taken by William Burkhardt of BJJ Pix.

Lovato Jr vs Kayron Gracie

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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