Rafael Lovato Jr. Vacates Bellator Middleweight Championship


Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. has officially vacated his championship after being diagnosed with cavernoma. This comes report comes from MMAJunkie’s Mike Bohn and a Bellator announcement. The Mayo Clinic describes cavernoma as a brain disease that causes “Abnormally formed blood vessels” that can develop and create problems in the spinal cord or brain.

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#FBF to our moment @bellatormma 🏆 Now you can really imagine how I felt… • Anything is possible when you have the right people around you. I am blessed to have the love & guidance of the greatest martial artists & family in the 🌎 I believe in them & they believe in me. I am a warrior, because I’m surrounded by warriors & I know what I’m fighting for. Surround yourself with the people who make you great. • @deeana6 @evolucaothai @xanderibeirojj @frohlich_mma @matrixgrappling @greenstrengthiv @ribeirojiujitsu @cameronshayne @andredida • #AnythingIsPossible #Believe #Fight #NeverGiveUp #Warrior #TrueMartialArtist #DreamsDoComeTrue #SurroundedByGreatness #SurroundedByLove #TeamLovato #EvolucaoThai #RibeiroJiuJitsu #PickloWrestling #Budokon @wartribegear @onnit @resiliencecbd

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Lovato Jr. won the middleweight championship by defeating Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 223 on June 22, 2019. Lovato Jr revealed on an episode of Joe Rogan’s “JRE MMA Show” that he discovered he had cavernoma in preparation for the fight and he got cleared a week before the fight. In a statement from Lovato Jr. that was taken by MMA Junkie, Lovato Jr. officially relinquished his championship.

“My journey with my team and family to become the Bellator middleweight world champion was incredible and something I will cherish forever,” Lovato stated. “I dreamed of having a long reign as champion, but sometimes life has another plan. Bellator has been very supportive during this difficult process, a situation that has never really happened before in our sport.

“I know the division must move on while I am on the sidelines and I wish everyone great fights on their way to that belt. I will be working to come back if it is possible – and if not, life will continue to be amazing for me and I look forward to working with Bellator in another fashion.”

Bellator has not officially made a statement on who will fight for the vacate middleweight championship. However, former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi and current Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima have expressed interest in fighting each other for the vacant middleweight championship.

Lovato Jr. remains undefeated at 10-0 in his MMA career. He has not officially retired and hopes to continue his career in the future. The story of Lovato Jr. becoming champion that he told on the JRE MMA Show is remarkable and inspirational.  MMAScene wishes Lovato Jr. good health and hopes that he can overcome his condition to fight again.



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