Diego Lopes still hopeful of UFC opportunity: I’m ‘a completely different fighter’ than the one from Contender Series

Diego Lopes is not ready to give up on his dream.

The former LUX champion and jiu-jitsu coach of Alexa Grasso is still hoping to get the opportunity to fight in the world’s biggest MMA stage – the UFC. Lopes (20-5), along with Lobo Gym head coach Francisco Grasso, has helped Alexa become UFC champion, Irene Aldana develop into a UFC title contender, and Alessandro Costa get to the UFC stage.

He thinks it’s time he joins his partners and students in the octagon.

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“The goal is to join my partners,” Lopes told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I want to be fighting in the UFC. That’s the objective.

“For one reason or the other, it hasn’t happened. But we’re still working, and we’re taking whatever opportunities we get. We’ve evolved a ton in the striking area and continued to improve a lot on the ground. I think it’s time I show what I’m made of. Whatever fights I do from here on, I’m coming in to finish. I’m focused on that and hoping to get good opportunities so we can make the most of them.”

Lopes said he expects to fight in April at a Fury FC event, but has yet to get confirmation of an opponent. The Brazilian, who now lives in Mexico, did get a chance at the big stage in 2021 when he took a short-notice Dana White’s Contender Series fight, but lost a technical decision to Joanderson Brito. The defeat snapped a 7-0 run for Lopes, which included wins over former UFC fighters Masio Fullen, Marco Beltran and Rony Jason.

Lopes has picked up momentum once again, and is on a two-fight winning streak. He’s open to short-notice calls at featherweight or lightweight and wants to prove he’s improved since he fought on DWCS.


“Of course I’ll do that at 155 or 145,” Lopes said. “I’m ready to fight, and I haven’t stopped training since my last fight. I’ve stayed ready because my objective is to get to the UFC and ready for any challenge that gets put in front of me.

“If I get the chance to fight in the UFC, you’ll see a completely different fighter than the one you saw in the Contender Series. My goal is clear, and that’s to get to the UFC and go for all the bonuses. That’s what I want. I want to show that I can give good fights in the company and keep climbing up the ranks.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie