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Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. vacates title owing to serious medical condition

Anurag Mitra
Modified 11 Feb 2020, 18:15 IST

Rafael Lovato Jr (image courtesy -
Rafael Lovato Jr (image courtesy -

Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr has decided to vacate his title. The promotion announced that the champion has relinquished his title owing to a serious medical condition. (h/t MMA Fighting)

Lovato has been diagnosed with cavernoma which is a condition in the brain or spinal cord where an abnormal clusters of vessels with small bubbles are filled with blood. Lovato previously discussed his condition with Joe Rogan on the latter's podcast and now he revealed why he decided to vacate the title.

“My journey with my team and family to become the Bellator middleweight world champion was incredible and something I will cherish forever. I dreamed of having a long reign as champion, but sometimes life has another plan."

Lovato praised the promotion for all the support they lent him through this trying phase and explained that he chose to relinquish the title because the fighters in the division deserve to fight for the title when he is out of action.

“Bellator has been very supportive during this difficult process, a situation that has never really happened before in our sport. I know the division must move on while I am on the sidelines and I wish everyone great fights on their way to that belt. I will be working to come back if it is possible – and if not, life will continue to be amazing for me and I look forward to working with Bellator in another fashion.”

Published 11 Feb 2020, 18:15 IST
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