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Rafael Lovato Victorious at Fight to Win PRO 95

Rafael Lovato Victorious at Fight to Win PRO 95

Rafael Lovato has turned his sights to MMA, and he’s been wildly successful in his efforts so far. I don’t think we had any doubts that Lovato would make an effective transition to MMA given his extensive background and life long pursuit of several martial arts disciplines. He’s been a pioneer for Americans in BJJ, and holds an impressive number of achievements at the highest levels of BJJ competition. Though he’s been focusing on MMA, his illustrious BJJ career cannot be discounted or forgotten.

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Lovato took a break from the cage to square off this past weekend against Josh Hinger at Fight to Win 95 in a no gi jiu-jitsu match. Lovato was sharp as ever, and it seems his grappling pedigree has not suffered in the shadow of his MMA training.

The two combatants spent little time on their feet, jockeying for position when a duck under attempt landed Hinger in Lovato’s infamously dangerous guard. Lovato attacked the kimura repeatedly, until he was able to secure a solid sweep. Lovato’s passing and pressure has always been touted as otherworldly, and this night was no different. Hinger did manage to attempt a gogoplata at one point, but his efforts we’re not fruitful and he eventually succumbed to Lovato’s passing. Lovato took a quick pit stop in side control before quickly mounting Hinger and rode the match out from there, finishing off a decisive victory.

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Though the victory went to Lovato, Hinger did a fine job. He kept great composure, and dealt with the pressure of Lovato’s guard passing quite well. He stayed active, and threw up submission attempts when he had the opportunity. This was great match between these two phenomenal BJJ players. It was good to see Lovato back in the grappling spotlight. He’ll be fighting for the Bellator Jr. Middleweight title against Gegard Mousasi on January 26th. We will be watching!

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