clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lovato: ‘I can’t blame’ Bellator for booking immediate Mousasi rematch

Newly-crowned Bellator middleweight champion is open to an immediate rematch against Gegard Mousasi.

After just five years of professional MMA competition, Rafael Lovato Jr. accomplished an exceptional feat by winning the Bellator middleweight title from veteran Gegard Mousasi. The 36-year-old Saulo Ribeiro black belt earned a majority decision win, keeping his undefeated record intact.

While there are many other contenders for Lovato to face, he is already expecting Bellator to book an immediate rematch with Mousasi, which he also welcomes.

“If that’s what they want to do, I can’t blame them,” Lovato said in a post-fight scrum (via MMA Junkie). “It was an extremely close fight, and it is Mousasi. It was a seven-month training camp.

“I grinded so hard this year. … I’m off to Spain with my love, and it’s time to sit by the pool.”

Now with a huge target on his back as the man with the gold, Lovato intends to remain champion for as long as he is actively competing.

“Right now, the mission is to keep this thing over my shoulder and around my waist for as long as possible, and for sure, this is how I’m riding out into the sunset,” Lovato said. “We’ve worked our whole lives for this, and I want to keep enjoying the moment and taking the momentum even further. But this will be how I end my professional career.”

Lovato currently holds a record of 10-0, with eight wins by stoppage.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow