Monthly Archives: October 2015

Oct 07

Rafael Lovato’s MMA Comeback Almost Didn’t Happen

By Mike Cordero | Uncategorized

Rafael Lovato is fully aware that he has maximize his time in the MMA industry. At the age of 32 years old and just one professional fight under his belt, Lovato has to double time before it’s too late.

Lovato got laid off for more than a year after his first and only MMA fight. This is why Lovato got really worried when his contender for the Legacy FC 46 event got removed from the card days before the said event.

“Things got real scary for me after I trained hard for weeks then have this come up and it be on your mind. All the sacrifice physically, emotionally, financially – I brought a lot of people in for my camp and did a lot of things to feel as special as possible. I got real scared (when my opponent pulled out),” Lovato said during a recent interview in MMAjunkie.

Good thing the Legacy FC matchmakers found a solution right away; they found a suitable opponent for the middleweight fighter in just 24 hours. Lovato, who has a record of 1-0, will now be going against Kevin Holland, who has a record of 3-1. The event will be aired on AXS TV and will cover the event on Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas.

lovatoLovato admitted that with his time in the MMA industry running out and coming back from such a long break, not being able to fight on the card was not an option for him. When Holland was the one slated to be his opponent, Lovato said that he was very grateful that this happened. He also had prior knowledge of how Holland is inside the octagon, so he took this as some kind of advantage against his mixed martial arts opponent.

“Fortunately they were able to put it together, and I have a new opponent; his name is Kevin Holland. He’s a young, up-and-coming guy that’s 3-1 as a pro. He’s been very active this year, from Texas, and he actually trains with an old teammate of mine, Travis Lutter. I’m just really happy everything is back on so I can go out there and do this,” he said.

Even though Lovato is still on the process of starting out his mma career, he admitted that he’s been a lifelong martial artist all this time. He revealed that he got really interested in jiu jitsu among all the instructions at such a young age. Before he found his love for jiu jitsu though, he said that he already started training striking for starters.

He did very well in grappling circles. In fact, back in 2004, Lovato became the only second American-born martial arts artist to win the Brazilian National Jiu Jitsu Championships as a black belter. He joined Hall of Famer and UFC champ B.J. Penn with the distinction.

“Boxing became my first passion because that was the first thing I competed in as a child, but around 12 I started to turn to jiu-jitsu, and that became my new passion. I was so intrigued by it, and because I was a long, lengthy kid, playing guard became natural to me. … I feel like this is natural for me, and it’s part of my blood,” he said.

As for his upcoming fight with Holland, he admitted that he is excited of what the outcome will be, considering that his opponent is quite a challenge.

“I think his main strength is on the ground, but with that background, he’s not scared to mix it up and throw some strikes on the feet. It should be an entertaining fight. I’m excited,” he added.

Oct 05

Gilbert Smith on his MMA Career: “If I’m not moving up and trying to get to the big show, then I’ll move on.”

By Mike Cordero | Uncategorized

RFA welterweight Gilbert Smith needed to win his next fight in June if he wanted to stay and be successful in the MMA industry this 2015. He needed to step up because he started the year with a defeat.

Gilbert Smith was able to beat Benjamin at the RFA 26 event by a third-round submission win. It’s not just the victory that he was able to get, Gilbert was also able to get the 170-pound title as well.

“It’s one of those things that people knew Ben was a good wrestler, a good grappler, so people said to keep it on the feet and not go on the ground, but I knew he wasn’t better than me, so I didn’t mind going to the ground and exchanging there. With that said, I was able to pull off the victory,” he said.

Gilbert Smith also admitted that he knew it would affect his career in a big way if he failed to get back to his feet after his loss last January.

smith“A second straight loss could have spelled disaster for me. I’m not getting any younger. I’m not going be in this game long losing fights; especially losing back-to-back title fights. If I’m not moving up and trying to get to the big show, then I’ll move on. I’m an educated person. I have other options. I’m not going to be one of those guys who is just fighting to fight and losing any given weekend. That’s not going to happen,” Gilbert Smith said.

Even though Gilbert Smith has a lot of other options outside MMA, he revealed that he is still has the drive to move forward with his career and he isn’t looking into retiring anytime soon.

“It’s that competitiveness. It’s that hunger to be something great. Plus, I hate working a 9-to-5 job, to be honest,” Smith said.

Smith, who has a record of 11-4, will be going up against another UFC veteran Bristol Marunde (16-9) this coming October 9th in Las Vegas. Gilbert Smith will be defending his RFA welterweight title for the first time.

“I don’t think too much about it. I just go out there and fight my fight and put pressure on him. I really feel like I’m the better athlete. I don’t think there any areas that he beats me on. He’s a tough dude, a durable dude, and comes from a tough camp, but at the end of the day I don’t think that’s going to do too much for him,” he said.

If ever Smith gets to win this fight, it will be his second straight win and a successful mixed martial arts title defense. He says that he feels this is the push that his career needs in order to bounce back from the losses that he had last year.

“Sometimes getting a decision can be just as bad as getting a loss. Nobody wants a boring fighter, especially the UFC. They want guys who go out and finish the fight by any means necessary. My goal is to go out there and make sure it doesn’t go five rounds and ends in my favor,” Smith said.

Oct 02

Tecia Torres Says She’s Not In a Rush To Blemish UFC Strawweight Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s Record

By Mike Cordero | Uncategorized

The only two mixed martial arts fighters under UFC’s official strawweight lineup who have managed to maintain undefeated records were Tecia Torres and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. It looks like these two will eventually go head to head, and it’s getting closer because of how Jedrzejczyk continues to beat her opponents left and right.

Jedrzejczyk, who has a record of 10-0 MMA and 4-0 UFC, will be going up against Valerie Letourneau in order to keep the belt. Letourneau, on the other hand, has a record of 8-3 MMA and 3-0 UFC. The fight will take place this coming November 14th in the UFC 193 event; it will be presented as the co-headliner fight of the night. Tecia Torres, who has a record of 6-0 MMA and 2-0 UFC, is scheduled to fight Michelle Waterson (13-4 MMA and 1-0 UFC) this coming December at the UFC 194 event.

If Tecia Torres and Jedrzejczyk will manage to win their respective MMA fights, the much-awaited fight between these two would eventually start to materialize.

In a recent interview, Tecia Torres admitted that vying for a chance to fight for the title (if she wins over Waterson) is not in her priority list right now but it would be very good for her resume if she will manage to beat the former Invicta FC champ.

torres“I think my title shot will come around in the future, but I’m taking my time with it. I want to grow, and I think I still have things to fix and grow before I fight her,” Torres said at MMAjunkie during a recent UFC Q & A event.

In the UFC, it’s not easy to get a chance to fight for the titles. This is why Tecia Torres wanted to make sure that she is fully prepared and ready when she gets her chance. This is completely understandable, considering that this kind of chance doesn’t come around that often. As for her current record, Torres has impressively won six straight fights but so far, none of those earned her a stoppage victory. She has managed to win over great fighters like Paige VanZant, Angela Hill, and Rose Namajunas.

There is a technique that Torres can use perfectly when she goes against Jedrzejczyk though. Torres has a background of grappling and wrestling that can be a great contrast to Jedrzejczyk’s fighting style. Jedrzejczyk is known to be a great striker and has managed to win over her previous opponents by stoppage after throwing powerful blows at them.

Even though this is the case, Tecia Torres said that she is not intimidated by Jedrzejczyk and she believes that the MMA champ can be beaten.

“I’m a fan of the sport, so I’m definitely a fan of ‘Joanna Champion’ and her skills, but on the other hand, it is realistic that one day I could be fighting her. I think she’s great, and she’ll be champion for a while, but I don’t think she’s (unbeatable),” she said.