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Rafael Lovato Jr Joins OTM Forum!

    Thu, 2007-11-01 08:45 — Gumby

    Rafael Lovato Jr can stake his claim at being the top American Jiu Jitsu Competitor ever, and this year he took home four gold medals in four international events.

    Now Rafael Lovato Jr will be available in the OTM Forums to talk shop, give his opinions and help YOU with advice!

    In addition to being an outstanding competitor, Rafael is among the best examples for a spokesperson and role model for our sport off the mat. We're extremely pleased to be associated with him, and are really looking forward to his contributions here!

    This is just the beginning!

    LovatoJr's picture

    1. Hard to say, they are pretty equally matched. Depends on whose on their game that day.

    2. I'm not sure, but I guess I would go with Josh Griffiths. I mean he is the NYCPlayboy.

    3. I am not into football that much, I really don't even know how Oklahoma is doing. I really don't like the college football craze out here, because no one shows up to train on Saturdays.

    4. I think it will help a lot. You could see the effect it has had already by his groundwork against Fitch. Diego had great guard work and fast transitions. I think it will make him even more complete, he will be better technically which will make his athleticism just the icing on the cake. I don't know if he can make 155.

    5. Probably at least one bite.

    Your rating: None
    lucifer_z28's picture

    i say he wouldnt because if he was a hotdog ,would he have a mouth???.. but i do think that if gumby and i were in an elevetor and he was a hotdog that i would probably eat him..

    Your rating: None
    Anonymous's picture

    Welcome Rafael!!!

    Your rating: None
    TapperOuter's picture

    How Did You Feel About The Crowd Reaction To Your Victories At The Mundials? Did You Even Notice?

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    I could tell that I was definitely in the U.S. I felt like I had a strong crowd that was behind me while I was getting to the finals, which probably wouldn't of existed at the Tijuca Tenis Clube.

    In the finals, after I got the advantage that tied the score, I was totally in a different world. The only thing I was thinking was "they gotta give it to me, they gotta give it to me." When they raised my hand I heard a crowd yelling, but my eyes were closed and I was just overwhelmed with so many emotions that it was hard to tell how everyone was reacting.

    I was disappointed that the Sao Paulo, Godoi/Tozzi crowd was booing me so much. I know that Big Mac is their student and they want him to win, but I would never boo my opponent. It was a very close match and I pushed the match as hard as I could until the very end, they have to respect that. Later on, Big Mac issued an apology, so it's all good.

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    JD Hurst's picture

    Your a BB on the mat and in life.

    Your rating: None
    burien top team's picture

    I enjoyed your short interview. I thought I'd ask you a question or two if they aren't too ridiculous.

    1. One of our new black belts told me and another one-year blue belt that he thought the first two years after you get your blue belt can be the most difficult years in jiu jitsu.

    Do you agree? If so, why do you think this is?

    2. If you could put together a pair of exhibition fights that would be broadcast in prime time across the country as an example of jiu jitsu at its best, what two Super-Super fights would you set up (currently active competitors only)?

    Thanks!

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    Your questions are not ridiculous by any means.

    1. I think that is a pretty true statement. I'd say the majority of people that start training in BJJ make it to blue belt. It is the first hurdle and people set their sites on it as soon as they start to train. It is a pretty easy belt to attain. Going from blue to purple is where most people quit. What happens is, they realize how much there is to learn and how much work it is going to take and they get overwhelmed. Blue belt is for sure probably the hardest belt to be. You can beat all the white belts, but you are still getting completely smashed by the purples and browns. Most people that stick it out and get the purple go all the way. Things that slow people down after that would be like injuries or some sort of change in life like moving, having a baby, or something like that, but I have never had a purple belt just quit.

    2. Well, I could probably line up the best tournament of superfights ever, because I know so much about everybody. I will give you two matches that have never happened that I would like to watch:

    Marcelo Garcia vs Braulio Estima (gi)
    Roger Gracie vs Jeff Monson (no-gi)

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    KibunInc's picture

    Here are a couple of questions so I hope I do not make a fool of myself

    1) have you or do you plan to compete in MMA matches

    2) I train alot with begginners as I teach some classes. As a result I tend to work out of my guard alot in order to let them try different techniques. Now when I roll with others I am so use to working my guard that my top came is way behind now. Should I just keep working my guard and try to make that the best I can or do you know some good drills in order to get my top game back. I do only no gi classes

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    1. I do plan to compete in MMA. I am not planning on making a career out of it, but I know deep down that I will get to a point when I will be ready to do MMA.

    2. I think that it is always good to work on certain things when training with beginners. It is a good time to work on your defense and kind of help guide them through some positions, of course you don't want to develop bad habits. If you always play guard, then you should start on your feet sometimes to work takedowns or your guard pulling. Also, you should start in your partners guard as well to be sure your working other areas of your game. It is never a bad idea to have an excellent guard, but try to be sure that your top game doesn't suffer.

    Your rating: None
    KibunInc's picture

    LovatoJr wrote:
    1. I do plan to compete in MMA. I am not planning on making a career out of it, but I know deep down that I will get to a point when I will be ready to do MMA.

    2. I think that it is always good to work on certain things when training with beginners. It is a good time to work on your defense and kind of help guide them through some positions, of course you don't want to develop bad habits. If you always play guard, then you should start on your feet sometimes to work takedowns or your guard pulling. Also, you should start in your partners guard as well to be sure your working other areas of your game. It is never a bad idea to have an excellent guard, but try to be sure that your top game doesn't suffer.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It is awesome to have someone of your skills taking time out to answer our questions and helping us out. I look forward to seing your debute in MMA and I wish you the best in life.

    Your rating: None
    KibunInc's picture

    sorry but one more question.

    When your training is leveling off how do you get past that and back to improving. thanks for any info on this. Sometimes I am improving greatly in my game then I level off and go into a slump for a while. :confused:

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    KibunInc - No problem, I am glad to help out.

    To answer your last question, my best advice is this: I try to remember that when I feel like my game is in a slump that means that I am going to have a jump in my game when I come out of the slump. That thought process helps make it a little easier to stay positive. Also, I like to appreciate getting tapped out. We all have good days and bad days, but you should always be happy that you have training partners that can tap you. That means that they can show you your weaknesses and help you get better. Lastly, keep training fun. Don't get too frustrated when it's a bad day, that only makes things worse. If you feel yourself shutting down mentally, then do some fun drills or work on something you saw in a video. That way you can still be productive.

    Your rating: None
    TapperOuter's picture

    thank for the opportunity to ask questions. . .

    i am a bigger guy. . about 240 and prett solid. i am really fond of Jeff Monson's 69 choke. It seems to fall in my lap every time i roll. I am predictable, because it is a simply and hard to avoid series of chokes from the over under, north south. do you ever feel you are too reliant on a position or submission? do you figure you should just do it and perfect it and let other people worry about stopping it or do you keep trying other things even when you know you could take the one position. i like plaiyng on the ground but when it comes time to submit i just fall back to north south. . . .

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    TapperOuter - It sounds to me that you are already pretty good at that choke and being as big as you are you can probably already do it to most. I would definitely recommend to work other areas of your game. You always want to try to evolve with your game, so maybe you should work more on your weak areas, like escapes or guard.

    Your rating: None
    atama3's picture

    Awesome, congrats on being world champ.

    1. Do you think a lighter guy could ever be absolute mundial champ? Rooster, super feather, or feather weight, Robson, Malfacine, Rubens Charles? Or is weight and strength too much to overcome?

    2. Have you ever been in a streetfight? If so how'd it go?

    3. What's the weakest part of your game? If you care to say.

    Thanks man.

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    1. I don't think so. I know that those guys are super tough and could probably beat many of the bigger guys, but to have 5 or 6 fights with guys who are much bigger would be too demanding for them. Plus the bigger guys will probably just stall them out.

    2. No.

    3. My game is always developing so much that I don't think it has much time to just have one weak area. I am always working on improving. Right now I am trying to develop my stand up game for tournaments and also in the back of my mind, for MMA.

    Your rating: None
    mikeffd's picture

    Rafael,

    I'm interested to know - as you have so much experience- who you consider the best youve competed against or trained with, and why.

    Thanks

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    Competed against = Roger. He is just very solid everywhere and very hard to do any offense to. He has no big weaknesses & a slow steady offense.

    Trained with = Saulo. A lot of people think what they see of Saulo in competition is him. Saulo plays a very tight conservative game and sometimes he will not show his whole jiu-jitsu in competition. He is the most solid person I've trained with. Very tight, great pressure and hips and impossible to tap. His understanding of how to use his body is crazy.

    Your rating: None
    TapperOuter's picture

    is there anyone, win or lose, that you just don't like to grapple? A stylistic difference that you just don't enjoy. somebody like E. Telles or Roger? Or is there a style that just amkes you mad. like the i.e. the butt scooters of the world etc?

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    Gumby - MMA is legal out here in Oklahoma, although I definitely wouldn't fight out here. Oklahoma is pretty flooded with MMA events, there is like 3-5 a month and they are not much better than a toughman contest. I would like to debut in a nice show, where I could get paid well and establish myself.

    TapperOuter - I hate stallers. I like to move and open up my game in my matches. I would rather get tapped out and learn from my match then to barely do anything and lose by advantage or 2 points to a staller. Telles is definitely difficult because he is on his knees the whole match and it is very hard to score against him. Someone like Big Mac is difficult too because he is very hard to score on, but you are never in that much danger. I just like to play.

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    Thanks, Gumby. I am glad to be here. If anyone has anything they want to ask to get this thing started, please feel free to post it. I will try to respond to it as quickly as I can.

    Your rating: None
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