Rafael Lovato Jr. Says He Will ‘Rise To The Occasion’ Against Gegard Mousasi

Mousasi Lovato
Bellator
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Bellator middleweight Rafael Lovato Jr. plans on showing the best version of himself against Gegard Mousasi.

Lovato will challenge for Mousasi’s middleweight title in the main event of Bellator London which takes place June 22 at the SSE Arena. It has been a long time coming for the BJJ black belt as he was originally slated to face the champion back in January, until an injury ruled the latter out.

The 35-year-old pondered taking another fight to remain active, but in the end, felt it wouldn’t be right to face anyone other than Mousasi:

“There was definitely a phase where things were up in the air, in terms of when it would happen and when we were going to rebook the fight,” Lovato told Standard Sport. “It was tough because I was in limbo and we didn’t have a date for the fight.

“I didn’t have that set goal but that feeling passed a long time ago and I’ve known since late March. I came out to the press conference in London. I’ve had almost three months now preparing for the fight and being the best version of me possible.”

Lovato Ready For Wherever Fight Goes

Lovato specializes on the ground and is undefeated in nine professional fights so far. Mousasi, in contrast, is more well-rounded and has 44 more fights under his resume. But that doesn’t mean Lovato isn’t ready for wherever the fight goes.

“I don’t have choice do I?” Lovato explained. “It’s a fight so my mind-set and my strategy is always to be better everywhere and just be comfortable and put everything together the best I possibly can. I’m very much prepared and I’m happy to show all of my skills off for this fight.

“I don’t have a lot of time fighting on my feet. I don’t have that many MMA fights to begin with so there’s not a lot for people to see. Every fight I’m substantially better than I was before because I am still early in my career. I’m evolving rapidly so it’s not that I think they are underestimating me. They haven’t seen too much of it but every opponent brings out the best in me. Mousasi is a big step up and you will see me rise to the occasion.”