Jorge Lopez on Tuesday heads into the most important fight of his career, squaring off with Ultimate Fighter winner Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV 3 in Virginia.
Coming off of a loss in his first trip to the Octagon, he needs a win, and he needs it bad. Sadollah is no easy task for a fighter trying to get a W on the board, but Lopez doesn’t shy away from a difficult task before him… and he thanks his parents for that.
“I don't know if it's the way that my mom and my dad raised me, they would always teach me not to be scared of anything,” Lopez said in a recent Wand Fight Team video.
His parents are a big reason why Lopez went on to join Wanderlei Silva’s fight team in Las Vegas in an attempt to live out his dreams. When there were difficult tasks before him as a child, when things didn’t seem to be going his way, his parents supported him, but they were no crutch.
“I remember my dad. They had me on a bike for the first time with the training wheels off,” he remembered. “He didn't let me ride the bike with training wheels. He took them off right away and said, let's go.”
In a day and age when it seems training wheels are put on our every aspect of life, Lopez praises his parents for not giving him the easy way out. They made him face his fears and conquer them, not run from them, even when the road was rocky.
“I remember playing football. It was like the second or third day of practice. We were on our way to practice and (my mom), I remember I kept telling her, ‘I don't wanna go, I don't wanna go. I don't wanna be in football anymore. It hurts,’ he recounted.
“She looked at me in the eye and she told me, ‘You need to quit being a little girl. You're gonna get your stuff and you're gonna go out there an play.' She gave me my pads. She gave me my helmet. She wiped the tears off my face. She slapped me on the back and said go train.”
Lopez sucked it up and continued playing football. In fact, he played football so well that he earned a college scholarship.
So yeah, when he goes to practice, trading blows with his legendary coach, it hurts. It hurts a lot. But it’s those times with his mom and dad, pushing him to fight through the pain and the fear, that carry him onward and upward.
It has been said that risk is what makes life worth living, and Lopez has been taught all his life to take risks in order to accomplish the dreams that he has in life.
And that’s something he’ll need to tap into to get on the scoreboard when he faces Sadollah.
“I think of those times and I think of the times that she told me to man-up and go finish what I started. I did it then, so why can't I do it now?”