Rafael Lovato submits, is 1st American to win the absolute gold in Brazil



On the bleachers, a respectful silence followed the absolute title of Rafael Lovato Jr., after the American from Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu passed the guard with style and submit Ricardo Evangelista with a kimura.

It was the first time that a foreigner got to the top of the absolute in a Brazilian competition, an inevitable result of globalization and the international success of Jiu-Jitsu over the last decade. Although the crowd didn’t applaud the historic moment much, they recognized Lovato’s technique and will, while the American from Oklahoma broke in tears.

The black belt finals of the championship held in Barueri, Sao Paulo, ended on Sunday evening, and there were other memorable moments.

In the super heavy division, newcomer Joao Gabriel Rocha didn’t lower his head for the two world golds by Leo Nogueira (Alliance) and went for it. The star of Soul Fighters won by 11-2, and heard the scream coming from his fans: “You just started and already got it!”

The start of Ricardo Evangelista also shone. The runner-up beat Rodrigo Cavaca by points in the final of the ultra heavy, before the battle with Lovato.

In the female competition, the big name was Luanna Alzuguir (Alliance), absolute black belt champion after submitting Michelle Nicolini.

Another highlight was Dimitrius Souza, also from Alliance, which eliminated Rafael Lovato in the heavyweight and took the gold, after winning the European in January.

Among the teams, Alliance won the adult male, female and the Master & Senior, while Gracie Barra swept the basic categories.

Watch an exclusive interview with Lovato.