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BJJ Fanatics Instructionals

Rafael Lovato Jr

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John Danaher Closed Guard

Rafael Lovato Junior is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Carlos Machado who also worked extensively with the Ribeiro Brothers (Saulo and Alexandre). During his career as a professional grappler Lovato Junior made history on two occasions, first by being the first non-Brazilian to win the CBJJ Brazilian National Championship (2007) as a black belt, he would later rewrite is name in the tournament’s history books by conquering the open weight division (absolute), becoming the first non-Brazilian to achieve this deed also (2013). Other important landmarks in Rafael Lovato’s combat sports career were him becoming the 3rd American citizen to win the IBJJF World Championship in the black belt division (2007) and his first major title in a mixed martial arts promotion in 2019 with Bellator (middleweight title).

Rafael Lovato Jr Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Rafael Lovato Junior

Nickname: n/a

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Carlos Machado > Rafael Lovato Jr

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2007)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2010)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship Masters (2017 / 2016** Master 1)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2007 / 2013*)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2007 / 2008)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2007)
  • 1st Place Pro Sub League Invitational (2006)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute

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

Favorite Position/Technique: Well Rounded.

Team/Association: Ribeiro JJ / Lovato BJJ

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 at 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.

At 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 roommates in that training camp, creating a strong friendship that still stands today. After that camp, Rafael received his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu in 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.

Instructional by Rafael Lovato Junior

Rafael Lovato Grappling Record

93 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    35 (38%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    5 (5%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    44 (47%)
  • BY DECISION
    7 (8%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (1%)

44 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Kimura
20
9
#86e620
RNC
18
8
#5AD3D1
Triangle
11
5
#d1212a
Armbar
11
5
#fad11b
Submission
9
4
#f58822
Brabo choke
7
3
#224aba
Katagatame
2
1
#ff9124
Mounted triangle
2
1
#bf1f6c
Ezekiel
2
1
#22c9a5
North South choke
2
1
#fad223
Baseball choke
2
1
#03861f
Arm in guillotine
2
1
#039a1f
Arm in ezekiel
2
1
#03b41f
Cross choke
2
1
#03c61f
Anaconda
2
1
#03d61f
Darce choke
2
1
44
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
43 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    24 (56%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    5 (12%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    7 (16%)
  • BY DECISION
    7 (16%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

7 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES

#214eb8
Armbar
29
2
#86e620
Choke from back
14
1
#5AD3D1
Estima lock
14
1
#d1212a
Footlock
14
1
#fad11b
Cross choke
14
1
#f58822
Heel hook
14
1
7
(100%) SUBMISSIONS

Rafael Lovato Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
1373Eduardo TellesEduardo TellesLPts: 2x0Pan American94KGSF2006
1390Roger GracieRoger GracieLArmbarPan AmericanABSSF2006
1631Romulo BarralRomulo BarralLPointsPan AmericanABSSF2007
1699Demian MaiaDemian MaiaLPointsADCC88KG4F2007
1771Braga NetoBraga NetoLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.ABSR12007
1790Flavio AlmeidaFlavio AlmeidaLPts: 2x0NoGi Pan Am.100KGSF2007
1809Luiz TheodoroLPts: 2x0Super ChallengeABSR12007
1828Mario SukataLReferee Decision10k ChallengeABSGP2007
1837Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLArmbar10k ChallengeABSSF2007
1961Braga NetoBraga NetoLPts: 5x0World Champ.100KGF2008
1981Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLChoke from backWorld Champ.ABS4F2008
2120Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLPts: 5x0World Pro.ABS4F2009
2190Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPts: 2x0Pan AmericanABS4F2009
2261Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLEstima lockADCC88KGSF2009
2264David AvellanLFootlockADCC88KG3RD2009
2352Alexandre SouzaAlexandre SouzaLPts: 2x0World Champ.94KGSF2009
2371Roger GracieRoger GracieLCross chokeWorld Champ.ABS4F2009
2428Braga NetoBraga NetoLPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds100KGF2009
2653Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPts: 3x0BrasileiroABSF2010
2710Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPointsWorld Champ.94KGSF2010
2858Lucio RodriguesLucio RodriguesLPts: 6x2European100KGF2011
2988Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPts: 2x0World Champ.ABS4F2011
3138Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraLPts: 20x2World Champ.94KGSF2011
3279Rousimar PalharesRousimar PalharesLHeel hookADCC88KGSF2011
3287Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchLPointsADCC88KG3PLC2011
3509Roberto AlencarRoberto AlencarLN/AEuropean Open94KGSF2012
3520Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaLPts: 4x2European OpenABSSF2012
3644Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLAdvPan American94KGSF2012
3799Vitor ToledoVitor ToledoLAdvWorld Pro.88KGSF2012
4082Romulo BarralRomulo BarralLPts: 5x2World Champ.88KGSF2012
4247Roberto AlencarRoberto AlencarLReferee DecisionNoGi Worlds94KGF2012
4464Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLReferee DecisionMetamoris 2ABSSPF2013
4632Dimitrius SouzaDimitrius SouzaLPts: 2x0Brasileiro94KG4F2013
4809Joao RochaJoao RochaLPts: 10x0World Champ.100KGSF2013
5008Romulo BarralRomulo BarralLPointsADCC88KGF2013
5252Lucio RodriguesLucio RodriguesLPts: 2x0European100KGF2014
5382Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLAdvPan American94KGSF2014
5817Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLPts: 5x0World Champ.94KGSF2014
7904Rustam ChsievLReferee DecisionADCC88KG4F2015
12478Marcus AlmeidaMarcus AlmeidaLPts: 4x0ADCC WC TrialsO99KGSPF2017
13762Felipe PenaFelipe PenaLReferee DecisionADCC99KGSF2017
13764Jackson SousaJackson SousaLReferee DecisionADCC99KG3RD2017
19108Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLReferee DecisionF2W Pro 104ABSSPF2019
1142Rolles GracieRolles GracieWBrabo chokeBudo ChallengeO108KGSF2005
1143Takeshi KosaiWDQBudo ChallengeO108KGSF2005
1388Eduardo TellesEduardo TellesWPts: 2x0Pan AmericanABS4F2006
1536Nolan DutcherWRNCGQ All Star Pro91KG4F2006
1537Dave BranchWReferee DecisionGQ All Star Pro91KGSF2006
1538Chris MoriartyChris MoriartyWRNCGQ All Star Pro91KGF2006
1547Lee SynowskiWPts: 4x0Budweiser Champ.ABS4F2007
1548Ian McPhersonIan McPhersonWRNCBudweiser Champ.ABSSF2007
1549Chris MoriartyChris MoriartyWInjuryBudweiser Champ.ABSF2007
1592Braga NetoBraga NetoWPts: 4x2Brasileiro100KGSF2007
1594Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWPts: 4x0Brasileiro100KGF2007
1621UnknownWTrianglePan American100KGR12007
1622Rodrigo TeixeiraWBrabo chokePan American100KG4F2007
1623UnknownWBrabo chokePan American100KGSF2007
1624Cristiano LazzariniCristiano LazzariniWPts: 2x0Pan American100KGF2007
1694Marko HelenWArmbarADCC88KGR12007
1764Bruno PaulistaBruno PaulistaWPointsWorld Champ.O100KG4F2007
1765Luis TheodoroWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.O100KGF2007
1789Nick KlineWPointsNoGi Pan Am.100KG4F2007
1831Anthony RodeWRNC10k ChallengeABSGP2007
1832Stephen DawsonWAnaconda10k ChallengeABSGP2007
1872Fabio MarmontelWArmbarPan American94KG4F2008
1874Fernando PieroFernando PieroWAdvPan American94KGSF2008
1875Roberto AlencarRoberto AlencarWAdvPan American94KGF2008
1958Arthur CesarWKimuraWorld Champ.100KG4F2008
1960Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWPts: 8x4World Champ.100KGSF2008
1974Marcel FortunaMarcel FortunaWArmbarWorld Champ.ABSR12008
1977Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2World Champ.ABSR22008
2256Tom LawlorWPointsADCC88KGR12009
2260Bruno BastosBruno BastosWDarce chokeADCC88KG4F2009
2350Fernando PieroFernando PieroWAdvWorld Champ.94KG4F2009
2426Marcel FortunaMarcel FortunaWRNCNoGi Worlds100KGSF2009
2559Leo NogueiraLeo NogueiraWPointsPan American94KG4F2010
2560Joao AssisJoao AssisWPts: 2x0Pan American94KGSF2010
2561Bernardo FariaBernardo FariaWPts: 7x0Pan American94KGF2010
2613Roberto AlencarRoberto AlencarWReferee DecisionNo Gi Worlds94KGF2010
2704Tony EduardoWPointsWorld Champ.94KGR12010
2708Joao AssisJoao AssisWPointsWorld Champ.94KG4F2010
2941Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraWPts: 4x2World P. NoGi92KGF2011
2971Mick WilsonWPts: 2x0World Champ.ABSR12011
2983Antonio CarlosAntonio CarlosWTriangleWorld Champ.ABSR22011
3081Fernando PieroFernando PieroWTriangleWorld Champ.94KGRDS2011
3119Renan VitalWArmbarWorld Champ.94KG4F2011
3233Jeon Doo KwangWRNCADCC88KGR12011
3264Kyle GriffinWTriangleADCC88KG4F2011
3353Frederico MoncaioWRNCNo Gi Worlds88KG4F2011
3368Otavio SousaOtavio SousaWPts: 4x0No Gi Worlds88KGSF2011
3379Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWPts: 4x0No Gi Worlds88KGF2011
3411Bruno BastosBruno BastosWPts: 2x0UFC ExpoABSSPF2011
3517Igor SilvaIgor SilvaWKimuraEuropean OpenABS4F2012
3641Igor AraújoWPointsPan American94KGR22012
3793Rodrigo ClarkWSubmissionWorld Pro.88KGR12012
3796Roberto FonsecaWPointsWorld Pro.88KG4F2012
4080Dimitrius SouzaDimitrius SouzaWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.88KG4F2012
4144Kayron GracieKayron GracieWKimuraMetamorisABSSPF2012
4243Max FreitasWKimuraNoGi Worlds94KGR12012
4245Nivaldo OliveiraNivaldo OliveiraWKatagatameNoGi Worlds94KGSF2012
4362Murilo SantanaMurilo SantanaD---World ExpoABSSPF2013
4621Alexandre CeconiAlexandre CeconiWN/ABrasileiroABSSF2013
4622R. EvangelistaR. EvangelistaWKimuraBrasileiroABSF2013
4806Antonio PeinadoAntonio PeinadoWPts: 5x0World Champ.100KG4F2013
4996Shinsho AnzaiWMounted triangleADCC88KGR12013
5003Rustam ChsievWTriangleADCC88KG4F2013
5005Pablo PopovitchPablo PopovitchWPointsADCC88KGSF2013
5103Ricardo RezendeRicardo RezendeWPointsNoGi WorldsO100KGSF2013
5104Fabiano SchernerFabiano SchernerWAdvNoGi WorldsO100KGF2013
5379Bueno/AllianceWPointsPan American94KG4F2014
5814Jackson SousaJackson SousaWPts: 2x0World Champ.94KG4F2014
5939Andrew KimlerWKimuraFive TXABSSF2014
5940Joshua HaydenWPts: 10x0Five TXABSF2014
5941Andrew KimlerWKimuraFive TX NoGiABSSF2014
5942Joshua HaydenWPts: 10x0Five TX NoGiABSF2014
5943Douglas BuenoWEzekielFive TX NoGi94KGF2014
7507Wellington PerotoWKimuraCuritiba No Gi100KGSF2015
7508Fernando PiresWNorth South chokeCuritiba No Gi100KGF2015
7510UnknownWN/ACuritiba No GiABSSF2015
7516Hugo BrittoWSubmissionCuritiba Open94KGSF2015
7518Jurandir ConceicaoJurandir ConceicaoWArmbarCuritiba Open94KGF2015
7519K. MouraWSubmissionCuritiba OpenABSSF2015
7520Pedro MouraWSubmissionCuritiba OpenABSF2015
7897Hidemi MiharaWPts: 7x0ADCC88KGR12015
8572Michael LieraMichael LieraWPts: 0x0, AdvHouston Nat. Pro94KGF2015
8574Carlos FariasCarlos FariasWBaseball chokeHouston Nat. ProABSRR2015
8575Michael LieraMichael LieraWPts: 7x0Houston Nat. ProABSF2015
9055Ricardo AbreuRicardo AbreuWArm in guillotineF2W Pro 3ABSSPF2016
9861Steve PattersonWArm in ezekielRespect ProABSSPF2016
10180Roberto AbreuRoberto AbreuWReferee DecisionF2W Pro 7O100KGSPF2016
10437Tanner RiceTanner RiceWCross chokeF2W Pro 11ABSSPF2016
13752Eliott KellyWPointsADCC99KGE12017
13759Mahamed AlyMahamed AlyWPts: 3x0ADCC99KG4F2017
15149Tim SpriggsTim SpriggsWRNCF2W Pro 64100KGSPF2018
18164Josh HingerJosh HingerWReferee DecisionF2W Pro 9588KGSPF2018
19179Jake ShieldsJake ShieldsWReferee DecisionPolaris 992KGSPF2019
21438Richie MartinezRichie MartinezWKimuraWorld FestivalABSSPF2019

Banner photo was taken by William Burkhardt of BJJ Pix.

Lovato Jr vs Kayron Gracie

Submission Back Attacks Instructional by John Danaher

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