Rafael Lovato Jr. Open To Rematch With Gegard Mousasi Or Fighting Lyoto Machida
This past weekend at Bellator London, Rafael Lovato Jr. caused one of the biggest upsets of the year, when he defeated Gegard Mousasi. In doing so, Lovato Jr. also became the new middleweight champion of Bellator MMA. After the fight, the newly crowned champion opened doors for an immediate rematch with Mousasi.
“He is a great champion”, Lovato Jr. said of Mousasi after the fight (transcript from MMA Fighting). “I have so much respect for him. He didn’t need to take this fight. It’s only my 10th fight and he could have saved himself for bigger fights, bigger paydays, champ-champ or whatever kind of fights.
“He could have really called his shots but as a true champion, he wanted to put his belt on the line who he felt was the most deserving contender.”
Lovato Jr. also opened up about the possibility of fighting Mousasi again in an immediate rematch, and said he was open to the idea.
“If that’s what they want to do, I can’t blame them”, Lovato said. “It was an extremely close fight and he is Mousasi. Right now, it’s hard to think about that. This was a seven-month training camp. I grinded so hard this year.
“I’m going to rest a little bit tomorrow, Monday I’m off to Spain with my wife and it’s time sit by the pool, the beach, chill, relax, enjoy. I’m going to Madrid with my parents, two weeks in Spain, and then we’ll come back home, heal these wounds a little more and get back to work and start thinking about the defense for sure.”
Rafael Lovato appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, and also spoke about potentially fighting Lyoto Machida, if the promotion offered him the fight.
“It would be awesome to fight Machida, another legend. Get that experience. I just spent seven months thinking about Mousasi pretty much everyday, because of the postponement. So it would be nice to put my mind somewhere else and think about someone else for a little bit, and get a chance to face another legend. I’m not sure what Machida’s plans are, if he plans to stay at 205 or go after the middleweight title. But it would be an honour to make him my first defense. The Dragon versus The American Samurai. And let Mousasi pick another win or wait, whatever he wants to do. And we can have a rematch after that.”