When you have a strategy, for any sport, it’s vital to be smart in your approach and also utilize
your skills and tools. Watching clips of Rafael Lovato Jr, I see all of this in one person. The tall
black belt has earned his name by being a relentless guard passer who imposes himself upon
Watching his match from Grapplers Quest where he squared off with Braden Masters, Lovato
shows off how smart of a grappler he truly is, and makes sure to impress those of us watching
in the process of getting the win.
In The Heat of Battle
Watching Lovato Jr in this match is a thing of beauty. For a man that is so aggressive and
relentless, the fact he can stay so calm and collected is just as impressive as his guard passes
Early on in the match, Lovato found himself wearing Masters like a fanny pack around the mat!
Showing his strength and power, Lovato had Braden right where he wanted him. Not keen on
keeping the position, Masters dropped down for a leg…and this is when Lovato strikes!
The second his back hit the mat, Lovato began to pressure Masters. For a brief moment, Lovato
floated above Masters until he decided to pounce. In the blink of an eye, Lovato became very
top heavy and put Masters in an uncomfortable position.
Before you know it, Lovato worked his way right into side control. Braden began to work
frantically to try and get out of this position, but with Lovato’s bicep pressing right into his jaw
line, he had no chance.
Sensing his opponent was desperately looking to save himself, Rafael slipped right into full
mount. After a failed triangle attempt, Lovato was in s-guard for a millisecond, before Masters
able to escape.
This was to no avail, as Lovato was able to gain the upper hand and lock in a d’arce choke for
Using What You Got
When you have a tactical approach, it’s vital to know how to use the weapons that you have at
your disposal. In this match, Lovato was able to utilize his length and power to dominate
Masters for the entire match.
When Masters began to try and shrimp his way free, Lovato was able to kick his legs backwards
which did two things: 1) Prevented Braden from clearing the legs, and 2) Made his hips much
heavier, making it more difficult for Masters to move Rafael.
A smart grappler is a very dangerous grappler…and guess what, Rafael is a dangerous grappler.
When you have the skill set that Lovato has and you’re smart enough to utilize your body in a
strategic manner, it spells trouble for your opposition.
Always top heavy, Rafael makes sure his opponents are in a difficult spot from the second they
hit the mat. When he gets them there, he has no plans of letting them go free until his hand is
raised in victory.