Rafael Lovato Jr. and Xande Ribeiro Retire From IBJJF

2 min read
Rafael Lovato Jr. and Xande Ribeiro shock the crowd at the 2022 IBJJF Worlds with laying down their black belt as a sign of retirement from IBJJF Gi competition

iu-Jitsu legend Rafael Lovato Jr.

Rafael Lovato Jr. and Xande Ribeiro Retire From IBJJF

Rafael Lovato Jr. and Xande Ribeiro shock the crowd at the 2022 IBJJF Worlds with laying down their black belt as a sign of retirement from IBJJF Gi competition

Location: Kennedy Space Center, FL.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Photo by: @IBJJF

The 2022 IBJJF Worlds took place on June 2-5, LIVE in Long Beach, CA., at the Walter Pyramid, with impressive matches at every turn. Worlds is the premier Gi tournament, commanding the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competitors worldwide. Adult black belts competed on Saturday and Sunday. 

Legendary Jiu-Jitsu competitors

A pair of absolutely legendary Jiu-Jitsu competitors left their black belts on the mats at Worlds this year to the shock of many. On Saturday the 4th, Rafael Lovato Jr. and his longtime coach Xande Ribeiro retired from IBJJF competition. While both have retired from Gi competition, that doesn’t mean they are away from the mats altogether. Lovato and Ribeiro are still qualified for the 2022 ADCC World Championships later this year and are planning to compete for the title.

Rafael Lovato Jr.

Looking to Lovato specifically at Worlds, he competed as the number-three seed in the ultra-heavy division and won his first-round match against Erberth Santos in a thriller of a match!

Later in the quarterfinals, Lovato faced Guilherme Augusto, a Pans and Brazilian Nationals champion, losing a hard-fought match by way of points. After the match, Lovato laid his black belt on the mat, a symbolic gesture of his retirement from IBJJF Gi competition.

15 years ago, in 2007, Lovato won Worlds, making him just the third American citizen ever to capture a Gi world title. He is also a two-time Pans and European Open champion and a no-Gi world champion.

Watch our exclusive with Lovato here

Xande Ribeiro

Switching gears to Ribeiro, he competed as the 12th seed in the heavyweight division and lost his first-round match-up against Harryson Pereira by way of points. Ribeiro broke down in tears as he laid his belt on the mat for the final time in front of an adoring crowd whose hearts he won after years of outstanding grappling prowess.

Ribeiro is one of the most accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners ever to grace the Jiu-Jitsu mats. His accomplishments include a seven-time IBJJF world champion and a two-time ADCC champion. After over two decades of riveting black belt competition, Ribeiro hangs up his Gi career. 

Check back here for the latest grappling news/updates and to see where their adventurous jiu-jitsu journey takes them next!

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