Since then Lopez has gone 1-1 in his UFC career. Although he lost his UFC debut to an extremely tough veteran, Rani Yahya. Matt showed extreme promise in first bout, and bounced back strong in his second octagon appearance, grinding out a unanimous decision victory over Mitch Gagnon. Matthew is now looking to spoil the show for Brazils own #10 ranked UFC Bantamweight, Johnny Eduardo.
Brazil is known as being one of the toughest places in the world to fight. Especially when you are slated to fight a Brazilian, but Matt seems unfazed by this. When Canvas Conversations asked him how he felt about fighting in Brazil against a Brazilian, he said, “I think it just gives me a little bit of added pressure, good pressure, to go out there and perform and finish the fight. It lights a little fire under my ass, that’s about it. -I’m excited to hear all of the boos, and all of the you will die chants, that’s going to be fun, but I’m indifferent about it.”
Matthews confidence as martial artist is impressive to note. Considering that in an absolute must win fight, he chose to accept a bout against a top ten opponent that happens to be a Brazilian, in a fight that takes place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
He believes that his ability to focus on becoming a well-rounded mixed martial artist has been greatly assisted by his move to Colorado, telling us that, “Being able to live out here in Colorado, in this fresh air with the mountains, and the people. I think it’s really, done my body, my mind, everything, pretty good. And on the fighting side I’ve been able to focus more on training and just being better.”
Matt also credits much of his success to two other men. UFC newcomer, and former WSOF Lightweight Champion, Justin Gaethje and coach Trevor Wittman. In our interview, he spoke about Justin and Trevor, saying, “We grew up together (Justin), in a little small town in Arizona. And I just think that his attitude and his approach to this fight game is different than any other fighters, and it just rubs off on me. Him and Trevor have done so much for my psyche, and my mental, its crazy how much better I think I’ve gotten just by being around them. Not by necessarily training with them, but just by being around them.” A powerful statement, that showcases where the Bantamweight’s focus is heading into his fight at UFC 212.
Since arriving in Rio, it appears that the young man seems to be enjoying himself. And in the world of mixed martial arts, a happy fighter usually tends to be a dangerous one.
Lopez, and 10th ranked Bantamweight Johnny Eduardo will fight live on FS1, Saturday June 3rd, at UFC 212, Aldo vs. Holloway.