Rafael Lovato Jr is America's most decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor of all time - including multiple black belt World Championship golds, and a recent win over Kayron Gracie at Metamoris. His new "Seal the Deal" course is available online at www.MicroBJJ.com/Seal
For those who don’t know about Metamoris it is a professional BJJ tournament which has different rules than the standard IBJJF rules. The matches are 20 minutes long and you can only win by submission. If at the end of the twenty minutes there is no submission it is ruled a tie. This brings forth an exciting pace for BJJ that we normally don’t see in most matches and it is something that makes me love the Metamoris.
Today we’ll be looking at some key things that stuck out in my mind in the Kayron Gracie vs Rafael Lovato Jr match.
Let’s take a look at the stats of these two world class fighters. Kayron Gracie was the 2008 BJJ World Champion at the brown belt level and he also won the World No-Gi tournament at the purple belt level in2007. Rafael Lovato Jr is a BJJ gold medalist and a two time BJJ No-Gi gold medalist. Let’s dive right into my favorite parts.
The Fight is On
One thing that first caught my attention is how Gracie pulled guard. Lovato is statistically proven to have guard pulled on him more than he pulls it. What’s interesting about this is statistics also show the first fighter to engage in any match is more likely to win.
At 15:38 Lovato and Gracie are battling in a funky 50/50 variant and Lovato comes up on top to the open guard of Gracie. You can see him right away putting heavy pressure on Gracie which is Lovato’s specialty. You can learn more about his heavy pressure game and some of his guard passes with this article.
He has been able to make people tap by just his pressure alone and says he likes this pressure game so much because it makes people panic and forget their BJJ training which leads them into rookie mistakes for him to take advantage of.
At 13:53 Lovato aggressively passes Gracie’s guard using a leg drag pass and Gracie starts to scramble. In the scramble Gracie attacks Lovato’s leg in a single leg attempt but Lovato stuffs it with a mean crossface and spins to Gracie’s back where he sets in the far hook. Right as soon as he sets in his second hook Gracie creates a scramble and Lovato looses back control and both fighters are stuck in his guard.
At 11:50 both fighters are standing and Lovato hits a sick guard pull, he pulls into spider guard, sweeps, and Gracie gets chucked over the top with Lovato taking top position.
At 8:55 both fighters are in north-south with Lovato on top. Lovato pins one of Gracie’s arms with his leg and starts ripping for his other arm. Gracie turns in but it doesn’t stop Lovato getting the submission by kimaura at 8:43.
Rafael's Keys to Success
Overall we can see Lovato won this match by sticking to his game plan which he is famous for, top heavy pressure and well rounded guards.
I’d recommend everyone check out the Metamoris fights, it’s a display of fighting for a sub from the best on earth. We can take what they do into our own game, especially when you’re down in a match and need to go for the sub.
Train hard and keep being a student of the game