Ever since relinquishing his Bellator Middleweight World Championship, Rafael Lovato Jr has been keeping himself incredibly busy grappling instead. He’s been putting in strong performances on the IBJJF circuit and consistently winning medals in the Master’s division, while also competing in superfights as well. Now, he’s taken a really impressive victory at F2W 166 after submitting Gabriel Almeida with a Kimura in the main event.
Elsewhere on the card, William Tackett also made a big statement with his submission victory over experienced IBJJF competitor Manuel Ribamar. Alexandre Ceconi and ADCC veteran James Puopolo managed to put together one of the most exciting fights of the nights in between those two finishes, with the match earning ‘Fight of the Night’ honors after the judges declared Ceconi the victor.
Several competitors announced for Combat Jiu Jitsu Welterweight Worlds
The Combat Jiu Jitsu Bantamweight World Championships are right around the corner but the organization have already got to work in putting together the Welterweight edition for June 6th. Every edition of the CJJ Worlds attracts plenty of high-level talent and as it’s the brainchild of Eddie Bravo, there’s always a few 10th Planet representatives invited to compete, with this time being no exception.
Nathan Orchard will be competing for the second year in a row after coming up short in the CJJ Lightweight Worlds last time around. He will be joined by the returning champion, Brazilian Fight Factory’s Kody Steele, and the brother of the reigning Lightweight World Champion, Tye Ruotolo. Roberto Jimenez will also be making an appearance in what will be his first time competing under this ruleset.
Kade Ruotolo pulls out of WNO after being bitten by a dog
The upcoming Who’s Number One event on March 26th features a number of high-profile matches between elite grapplers, but now it will go ahead without one of the original announcements after a freak accident. Kade Ruotolo and Ethan Crelinsten were all set for a rematch of one of the closest matches in WNO history, until Ruotolo was forced to withdraw after being bitten by a dog and being rendered unable to train.
The promotion weren’t able to find a late-replacement for Ruotolo in order to keep Crelinsten on the card, but have managed to juggle some things around instead. Now, Johnny Tama and Oliver Taza have been moved up to the main card in their place and a new match will headline the preliminary card. John Danaher brown belt Sean Yadimarco will be taking on Brazilian Fight Factory’s Andrew Tackett in a battle of young up-and-comers.
Charles Oliveira finally submits his way to a UFC title shot
It seems as though Dana White has finally accepted that Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn’t just angling making a promotional move when he retired all the way back UFC 254 in October 2020. Now that the UFC Lightweight World Championship is officially vacant, the promotion has wasted no time whatsoever in arranging for it to be strapped around someone’s waist with a title match booked for UFC 262 on May 15th.
Charles Oliveira has used his elite submission-skills to earn that opportunity, including submitting seven opponents in a row just before his most recent domination of Tony Ferguson. His opponent hasn’t got anywhere near the same body of work in the UFC however, as Michael Chandler is just two months removed from a successful UFC debut and has earned his place by virtue of being a three-time Bellator Lightweight World Champion.
- Arnold Schwarzanegger’s son, Joseph Baena, has recently taken up BJJ and has been training at Checkmat Northridge under Arnaldo Maidana.
- IBJJF brown belt world champion Pedro Marinho and his wife Victoria Montrezor have both been promoted to black belt by Ulpiano Malachias.
- Vagner Rocha just promoted his daughter Jasmine to brown belt and the young grappler clearly has an amazing career ahead of her after recent performances.
- Guitarist and founding member of Five Finger Death Punch, Zoltan Bathory, just earned his BJJ black belt courtesy of Royler Gracie and Mica Cipili.