Bellator Champion Rafael Lovato Jr. Puts Career On Hold Due To Rare Brain Condition

Rafael Lovato Jr.
Image Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. is sidelined indefinitely due to a rare brain condition.

Lovato Jr. hasn’t competed since June 2019. He captured the Bellator middleweight title via majority decision over Gegard Mousasi. The bout headlined Bellator London. While fight fans have been waiting for what’s next for Lovato Jr., there are more serious matters at hand.

Rafael Lovato Jr. Puts Career On Hold

Lovato Jr. appeared on the JRE MMA Show and revealed to Joe Rogan that he’s been diagnosed with cavernoma (via MMAJunkie.com).

“I could sense something was going on,” Lovato said on the “JRE MMA Show” podcast with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “The radiologist, with really no candor or an easy or soft way of saying it, was like, ‘Dude, have you seen your brain before? There’s some stuff in here you need to see.’ He pulls me into the room and shows me on the screen, pointing out what looked like little balls. It looked like something was wrong – not a normal scan. But I don’t know – like shades of discoloration. You could see that it wasn’t normal. He didn’t even know what it was at the time.

“I go back and he tells me that he did some research and he believes I have a disease called cavernoma. He hits me with that. I had no idea what cavernoma was. He said, ‘Look, I’m not signing this paper. You need to go see a specialist and get looked at. But as far as I know, you should not fight. You should not be fighting.’”