He may be retired from MMA, but Rafael Lovato Jr. isn’t taking any breaks from jiu-jitsu competition. On July 16, Lovato will face Alexandro Ceconi at Fight to Win 177 in Houston, TX. The promotion announced the match via its Instagram.
Rafael Lovato Jr. was one of the first American’s to find success in the international Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition scene. He won the IBJJF world championship as a black belt in 2007, and the no-gi Worlds in 2010. He has been an active competitor for well over a decade, competing in numerous ADCCs, and holds notable wins over Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Bernardo Faria, and Rodolfo Vieira, among many others.
In 2014, Lovato began his professional MMA career. He acquired a perfect 10-0 record and the Bellator middleweight title before he was forced to retire in 2019 due to ongoing health concerns.
Like Lovato, Alexandro Ceconi is a longtime veteran of the black belt competition scene. He was a CBJJ Brazilian national champion in 2010 and 2012, and he is coming off a win over Jame Puopolo at Fight to Win 166.
How to watch: Fight to Win 177 takes place on Friday, July 16, and will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required).