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Midnight Mania! Bellator champ Rafael Lovato Jr. sidelined indefinitely with brain condition

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MMA: Bellator 198-Harris vs Lovato Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

It’s been just about seven months since Rafael Lovato Jr. upset Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 223, which is not an unreasonable amount of time between fights for a championship-level fighter. However, Lovato Jr. revealed today on the JRE MMA Show that no normal injures are causing his layoff. Instead, it was a brain condition he discovered in the process of fighting Mousasi in London, England.

“I could sense something was going on,” Lovato Jr. told Joe Rogan (transciption via MMAJunkie) “The radiologist, with really no candor or an easy or soft way of saying it, was like, ‘Dude, have you seen your brain before? There’s some stuff in here you need to see.’ He pulls me into the room and shows me on the screen, pointing out what looked like little balls. It looked like something was wrong – not a normal scan. But I don’t know – like shades of discoloration. You could see that it wasn’t normal. He didn’t even know what it was at the time.

“I go back and he tells me that he did some research and he believes I have a disease called cavernoma. He hits me with that. I had no idea what cavernoma was. He said, ‘Look, I’m not signing this paper. You need to go see a specialist and get looked at. But as far as I know, you should not fight. You should not be fighting.’”

Lovato Jr. eventually did manage to secure doctor approval, which is why he was able to fight Mousasi and secure the title. The condition is not considered immediately life threatening or one that can be solved simply with surgery. Since then, however, he’s been told that he’ll likely never fight in Europe again, and that medical opinions are split on whether or not fighting will adversely affect his brain condition.

Given this position of uncertainty, Lovato Jr. accepts that a vacant title is likely imminent. “If it’s really unsafe and I’m not going to get approved, ever, I finally got to a place where I can accept that and I’m going to move forward on with my life. If they have to set up a fight to determine a new champion, (that’s OK). I’m going to do everything I can to hopefully get approved to come back. But it’s sort of an indefinite time.”

Best of luck to the Bellator champ, undefeated fighter, and American jiu-jitsu icon.


Reactions from tonight’s yelling match between Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman:

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Techniques must be chosen wisely in order to have the intended effect ...

Some science behind brain injuries:

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How Many Concussions are too Many? ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I was at the @calconcussion 2020 symposium this weekend to learn the most up to date practices on concussion prevention and care. During a Q&A portion someone asked the panel “How many concussions are too many?” The board was comprised of medical doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers who are on the forefront of concussion management. Here was the summary of their answer: . There is no magic number. Some people can have many concussions and others may only be able to endure one. There are four factors someone should consider when it comes to concussions. . 1️⃣Are there lingering concussion symptoms? This is a sign that maybe your brain has not completely recovered. 2️⃣How long is the recovery for each concussion? A negative sign would be if each concussion that someone has endured is taking longer and longer to recover from. 3️⃣How much time has occurred between concussions? Just because symptoms have resolved does not mean that the brain is completely healed. A second concussion while the brain is in a vulnerable state may significantly increase symptoms and prolong recovery. 4️⃣How much force is required for the concussion to occur? This is common with fighters, who at one point may have had a ‘granite chin’ but later in their career are knocked out with seemingly “weak” shots. . I found this answer to be incredibly insightful and wanted to share it. It was an answer that compliments @concussion_doc who had a fairly similar answer to this question on his podcast. . How many concussions are too many? Ultimately this is a decision for the athlete, the coach and medical staff to determine. . Reference: Davis-Hayes, C., Baker, D. R., Bottiglieri, T. S., Levine, W. N., Desai, N., Gossett, J. D., & Noble, J. M. (2018). Medical retirement from sport after concussions: A practical guide for a difficult discussion. Neurology: Clinical Practice, 8(1), 40-47.

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Matt Brown gives an interesting perspective on fighter mentality:

Best one yet!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Don’t push up when mounted is one of the first lessons jiu-jitsu teaches.

Watching this clip makes the old Thai fighter’s mastery really clear. He’s able to generate a lot of power without loading up, and that’s after he no doubt lost considerable strength and speed over the years.

Seems like a bit of a quick stoppage, but excellent distance control displayed by the victor regardless.

Random Land

Someone send me more kooky old sport’s highlights.

Midnight Music: One of my favorite St. Vincent songs from her most recent LP, MASSEDUCTION.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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