Rafael Lovato stays unbeaten vs. Chris Honeycutt in Bellator 189
Rafael Lovato Jr stayed unbeaten with a unanimous descision win vs. Chris Honeycutt in Bellator 189 last night. One of the most accomplished American practitioners of BJJ, he started fighting in 2014. 3 years later, he has compiled a 6-0 record, winning the Legacy Fighting Championship title and a spot on the fast rising Bellator promotion’s roster. With this win at Bellator 189, Lovato Jr. believes a title s is a realistic possibility by late 2018.
2 Quick wins
After vanquishing his first two Bellator MMA foes in a combined 2:12, Lovato defeated the very tough Honeycutt in the Bellator 189 co-main event at the Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. the event aired on Spike TV. Honeycutt, 29, owns a strong wrestling base and is 7-1 with one no contest under the Bellator banner. After suffering the first loss of his pro career to Paul Bradley at Bellator 148, the Dethrone Base Camp product has bounced back to post four consecutive triumphs, including a finish of ex-UFC talent Kevin Casey in his most recent outing.
Thoughts from Lovato
“It means a lot. It’s early in my MMA career, I guess you could say. For me, this has been my whole life. This is my life’s work,” Lovato told Sherdog.com. “It feels really good to get that recognition now and have Bellator believing in my potential and giving me the opportunity to be in that co-main even spot. Especially here in my backyard against such a great opponent. It’s destiny letting me know that I’m on the right path and everything is happening the way it’s supposed to be.”
Lovato has yet to go the distance in six professional bouts. As he gains experience, the ability to smoothly shift from one phase to another in MMA is constantly improving.
“For me it’s just being more comfortable and making the transition between striking to wrestling to jiu-jitsu with ground-and-pound. Just connecting everything,” he said. “That’s where I feel like I’ve had the most evolution. Obviously I’ve focused a lot on my muay Thai over the last couple years. I feel like I’ve improved greatly with my standup game, but overall I’m just way more comfortable, way more confident inside the cage and really know what my game is, what my style is, how I like to move, how I like to attack.”
While Lovato is relatively young in MMA, he has been competing in combat sports for most of his life thanks to his jiu-jitsu background. Although he is 34 years old, he isn’t necessarily in a rush to take the next big step in his career.
“I don’t want to say urgency. I’m doing what I feel like I’m supposed to be doing at the right time. I don’t let my age affect my decision for trying for a title shot. I just feel like I’m ready,” he said. “In another year I’m gonna be that much better and that much more ready. I just want to fulfill my potential and do what I know I can do. If it comes, then great. If I have to win two more, I’ll win two more. I know it’s only a matter of time until I’m fighting for that belt.”
As a result, lool for a title shot by the end of the year for Lovato.