Ep. #118 – Gustavo Lopez

Gustavo Lopez is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Bantamweight division of the UFC. Furthermore, the former Combate Americas Bantamweight champion has finished 11 of his 12 victories via stoppage.


Gustavo Lopez: boom happy december everybodyuh december 1st um and episode 118.uh. I am joined by former kombacheamerica’s bantamweight champion andcurrentufc bantamweight champion, who now has awin in the ufcand without further ado. I’M happy tohave him on here. He ishey man. How are you doing how’s it goinglittle uh? I had a little bit technicaldifficulties getting you on there, but uhbut you’re here, how’s. It goingdoing good man how uh how are thingsthere without with a pandemic, i’m up incanada, so hereeverything’s on lockdown gym’s, justclosed soback at standstill. So so what are thingslike thereuh things are still somewhat normal. Herein las vegas uhsame thing everybody got ta, wear theirmac stuff like that, be precautious, butprobably, no business businesses, arestill openso people, just you know, taking care, ofthemselves, making sure they’re okayuh. I guess because of the holidays. Allthecases went up and stuff so thateverybody’s more worried, but probablyknowthat things are going to be. Okay for nowi already got it. I caught the coke. I gotcovered uhlike two three weeks before my fight myrecent fight, so i’m through it so i’mnot worried that much anymorei was gon na ask about that um. So you twoyou had itthree weeks before and the last week youmanaged to kind of fight it off. But wasthere was there a point. We were like mani, can’ti, can’t fight with this. Like it’s it’sjusti couldn’t fight the two days. I was sickso that so i think it was on the 14thlike. Something like that was on a mondayi felt. Sick went to go, get testedgot, tested positive and then that daymonday, tuesday and wednesday i was likein. My bedcouldn’t move like definitely if, if thatweek was a fightit would have been hard, but i literallyjust stayed in bed for two days: andafter theby wednesday afternoon thursday. I feltgreatum because of the whole copic rules ihad to bequarantined for 14 days for two weeksand just went through it and then afterafter those two weeks. Five weeks startedso i got to fight a week and then wefoughtyeah i mean, if i think, for you, it wouldhave been a lot different than a lot. Ofpeople becauseyou made a huge sacrifice coming to theufc to begin withthen. You got there, you had a loss, so meback-to-back laughing in the usa. Debutwould have beenextremely crucial um, so didwhen you were sick. Was there a pointwhere you’re like man? There’S a lot atstake here. There’S a lota lot riding on this. Was there anyhesitation there at all to to maybe likeyou know what i? Let’S? Let’S hold thisofflet’s fight at a label bait? No, not atalluh! We trained so hard since the muralfight to get ready for this one sowe’re gon na fight. We knew uh, luckily ihave when it did. Happenit was three weeks out before the fightso i was like. If i you know, i got ta, getthrough iti was stuck at home for those two weeksand, just kind of justwent on runs, ate really healthy, kept myweight downyou know because i couldn’t go really goanywhere those two weeks a year inquarantine. So i just stayed at home. Ranaround didn’t do no padsdidn’t grapple at all and just fiveweeks startedi had to go get tested on that friday. Tomake sure i was okayand that test came out came out positivetwothe week of the fight, so we’re like damnfights overwhat, i think yeah. It was christmas. Imean uh halloween, i’m likestuck at home. Thinking i’m going tofight next week and i wasn’t sureluckily the doctor hit us up. It was likehey uh you should you shouldn’t bepositive anymore, it’s been 14 daysgo ahead and get retested on monday andyou. Should you know everything should befine. So we’re waiting till monday andthen that weekend we heardthat my opponent at the time uh carlosgot to test the positive covenant so hewas completely outso, i’m like, oh goodness, i got he gotcoveredi, possibly have coveted. What’S gonnahappenmonday monday hits we go, get tested, andjust, wait it out and i’ll keep my weightdownwoke up in the morning on tuesday andjust woke up and went for a runlike. Normal was like you know, i’m like imight, like i’m in my head. I’M like i’mgonna, be negativei. Better get my weight down be ready i’mrunning around in the morning, and i geta call from the ufc like hey your testcamp. Your test came out negative you’regood to goand, then that day, they’re like okaywe’re gon na look for an opponentthey found anthony anthony burchek as areplacementwe. Just said all right and just took thefighthow: does it feel to uh i mean a lot. Ofpeople are like oh getting. The call toufc competing for the usu is great. Butit doesn’t really feel like you’re partof, the ufc until you get that w doyeah. Do you agree with that? I do ireally douh. That win was, was it meant so muchyou know uh to be to be in the ufc and iknowi know, i’m always good enough, but toactually win fights in the ufcit’s super hard. Everybody is talentedyou, know, uh people say i made that imade that fight look easylike, that guy’s not an easy fight. Foranybodyi think verdict is coming off of a fouror. Five win. Streakall first round finishes amazing blackbeltuh. He under he actually the same coachumuh coach casey. You gave him his blackbelt, so my coach came with blackwellso. It was like, i know he was legit andthenbecause of because i was fighting umbearcheck. My coach had to step out andnot corner me, so i was left out with oneof my coaches and then just picked uptwo of my friendslike hey. I need you to. I need you tocome corner me and we just went in thereand. Justhad a fun had a fun time and got the iwis ituh. Obviously he’s a friend of yourssomeone, you know. Well i mean there’sprobably pros and cons to that too. Likepros isi’m, finding someone i’m familiar withcons is a guy. I, like you knowum, so so when you got the news that youwere fighting anthonyhow did you take that i i was trying tomake sure like is that likewell? That was, the only option is thereothers they’re like and they’re told melike it’s at. The short noticethis is the best bet that we can makethe fight andor, we’re not gon na have no fight and i’mlike i’m trying to make some money. I’Mtrying toyou know keep fighting, get that w so itold my manager. Yes, i calledi actually called very check and toldhim like hey man, all our feelingswe’ll have a beer after andhe was you know he was ecstatic he washappy about it. He wasn’t like he knew. Icould have said: noabout the fight and that could have beenhis you knowit could have been his one last chanceto get in and maybe didn’t take itbecause i said nobut. I i kind of knew that, because, when ifirst got the call like, i would havefought anybody to get inand anytime, those people could be likeno, because i was too much of atwo dangers of a fight. Let’S not takethat fight. Let’S take anotheryou, know simple, something like that. Butmarab gave me the chance to get into theufcpull my heart out on a 20-hour noticeand. Then you know i wanted to give abirthday the opportunity to get back inthe ufcbut, just because i let him you know, igave him. The fight wasn’t going to beeasy when i i was going to throw hardlike people that saw that fight couldn’tcouldn’tthey’d, say like oh they’re, friends, itdidn’t show i was swingingi was swinging. I was trying to finishgetting to get the finish and he was tooyou know. It didn’t seem that he hit meat all, but he actuallyhit me a couple times so yeah we’reswinging soit, is what it is uh i i was funnyafterwardsi ended up going to tucson to go watch afootball game, the nfcuh, uh ssc versus arizona stateand. I was there for for the for the dayand. I stopped at his chat his gym and brought him a six-packlike. Hey man. Let’S see it just have thatbeerthat’s awesome. That’S that’s hilariousum! I want to talk a little bit aboutafterwards because afterwards you wentand spent time with your with yourfamily um. You went and saw your nieceso. What was it like to spend some timeyou know doing family related, thingsfamily oriented, stufftruly, amazing man um? I hadn’t had theopportunity to be able to go backum and do stuff like that, so the thefact that i was able to goand enjoy myself and kind of take careand spoil all my nieces and stuff. It wastruly amazing, very, very amazing, uhweekend literally a couple days fourdaysbrought. My camera out there took a lotof shots and just enjoyed you knowbeing with people that you know thatlook up to me that are proud of meand. Just have my back 100 yeah, it’s it’shard because, like ii, come from a a spanish background, myparents are from spain and i can imaginethey’d support me, no matter what i dobut. If i came out to them and said youknow what i want to be a cage fighteri, don’t know how they’d take that so sowhat was it first like coming out andjust saying you know what i want tofight inin a cage. I want to beat some guys up. Idon’T think i told him the first time ithink he justi kind of just took the fight and justkept going, and then they later on theyfound out what i did andyou know been fully supportive from thebeginningyou know. I think my mom is hard to watchyou, sometimes but other than thatshe’ll. You know she’ll, be there supportme. I thinki think it’s hard to uh to cut to kindof relate um. So if you had a message, toparentsor or anybody, who’s gon na have kids likewhat. Would the message be about kids whowho want to get in martial arts, whetherthat, bemma or karate, or whatever it happens, tobei just actually just let your kid dowhat hedo what he wants. You know if he enjoysit, if you you knowif, if jiu-jitsu or mmabrings a happiness, let him do it. Itcould be anythinguh. There’S some parents that i know thatforce their kids to do sports and thekid hates ityou know. But if the kid wants to do itlet him have a good time. You know lethim learn, he’s younghe’s gon na figure. It out he’s gon na he’sgonna, be really good or he’s gon na findout thathe’s. Probably not what i want to do. Andhe’Ll decide to do something elsebut. If you stop him from like actuallygoing out and figuring it outthe kid’s going to be. You know veryresentful like oh, i could have couldhave been a badass fighter, but my momdidn’t, let meor something like that, but he let thekids just enjoy themselves and have agood timeand, learn from it. Your martial artsbrings so much touh to fighters into people and just it’saa way to express yourself. It’S not it’snot, only a you knowan outlet to for your anger, like i’m onehappy, dude and i’msmiling in the fights and i’m enjoyingmyself, because i love the process. I lovelearning and getting better and a lot ofkids i thinkyou need that, need something that theycan put theiroutlet in. For sure i mean i think, that’sone of the things i notice a lot. Aboutfighters is a lot of people, think thatthey’re, angry or aggressive or whateverand. It almost seems, like the oppositeyou know, the the more i get to talk topeople, the more i get toto meet them. They’Re all happy excitingguys, like you guyslike randy costa, they always have thatpositive. Energywhich is really really nice to see and ithink. That can go a long way. Andyou know this is what mma can do for youand it reallydoes create a family-like environmentthank. You yeahi really think it does it just ii’m happy with it. I i’m living thelifestyle that i enjoyi wake up every morning, happy andgrateful for the opportunities that ihaveyou know and then now doing well, i’mable to help out other people there’sthings. I want to doi want to do a bunch of fundraisers iwant to just help. Thehere in las vegas at turkey drive theygot all these companies to donateover 100 100. Some turkeys that we gaveto familiesand, then there’s a toy drive later indecember. They were going to help outbut. I was thinking like i would love todo, something like that in my hometownbeing able to get business together, andget my own funds, togetherand kind of just give give you know giveback to the communitythat. You know always supported me. Ithink that’si think that’s great um and i you know ithink. We all want to be able to do thatso. It’S great that you’re using yourplatform to to doto. Do things like that. Do things thatthat are good. I want to talk a littlebit about about vagus. I mean you’reyou’re atthe, probably the nicest facility for mmain in the world, so kind of talk, a littlebit about the pi and and what’s thatlikethe pi is by farthe best thing: i’ve ever i’ve ever seenuhuh. What’S his name, arasanya was taughtsaying that heit was uh. It’S kind of like the x factorfrom, the x x-men, that building that theyall go inand. They learn how to do all the skillsit’s like thatthey, go in and there’s doctors, andphysical therapists and straightconditioning and nutritionists andyou name it. They have it like the onlything. You have to worry aboutis, your t is your mma workouts yourcoaches and your sparring, but they takecare of everything, elsestrength conditioning again nutritionphysical therapyanything is hurting fix you up. They makesure you eat. Well make sure you have theright vitamins in your bodyand, then they make sure and they allwork together to build. You know build aperfect, machineand, a perfect athlete, so i’m 100gratefulfor everybody at the pi bose one mightbe thiscoach, um tara is uh one of the physicaltherapists thatat, the pi, that i’ve been working, withshe’s, truly amazingalways. Taking care of me. It’S just byfar one of the bestfacilities with the best best staff thebest peopleout there. I want to talk a little bitabout. Another gym that you’ve beentraining a lot at andi know a lot of those guys, uh well andjustin james and eric nix. What’S it likeworking at extreme coutureamazing man, it’s uh to the moment imoved to vegas is the gym. I i got to andi never leftum. For me, i don’t feel no reason. Toleavethey have everything. I need amazingteammates great facilities, great coachesum. I also train at 10th planet. I don’ttrain with my cocoach gif, there’s, never been a an issueof like. Oh you can’t train over thereyou. Can’T doyou can’t train with them. You gottraining only with us it’sthe way. Our gym works is just you. Knowcome come get. What you need. You know ifyou get everything herecool, but if you need something else goout there and you knowwhatever works better for yourself, so ilove that extricator is such aopening open, gym that lets people learnwhenthey need to learn. And then, if you wantto find something else, go you know, it’snot a big deal for usi, think uh, there’s so much so manyfightersout there like there’s no reason to belikeuh upset. You go to a different gym. Youknow there’s never been an issue here. Soeric nixon runs, amazing, gym, so he’s anamazing guyi want to talk about uh i couldn’t gowithout asking about. Thisit was probably i guess. One of thebiggest thingson in the news of mma was when youdecided i’m gon na fight for the ufcthere was so much controversy there withkombache and the ufc. It was almost likea little tug of warum. So i guess obviously, i’m sure you hada great timeuh in kombucha. You won the belt. Therewhat went behind the decision to say youknow what likeit’s time to to take that next step, goto, the ufcbecause you had the belt, i mean you werea champion a huge sacrifice to make youknow. You were at the top of the totempole and now you’rehad to start from the bottom, so what waswhat went uh behind that decision to sayyou know what i’m making the leapit wasn’t that hard of a decision? Um theufcis the mecca of sports, if youfight, if you, if you train in may thewhole goal, is to be in the ufcyou know it’s to be in you know: ifyou’re a football player is to be an nflbasketball. You know nba it’s it’s youwant to be to the mecca sportof. All of it then there’s other leaguesof coursebut, it’s nothing compared to the ufcum. If you talk to you talk about if youliterally say: oh, i you knowsome people come up to you and they’relike. Oh you. You train ufc, it’s like theydon’t unders, like a lot of you, don’tunderstand thatit’s, it’s the name of the company, notthe sport and there’s people. Believethatthe ufc is the sport that we do. That’Show big. They areyou know it’s hard when you go to placeslike. Oh i fight. You know i’m thechampion ofchampion with combat americas. Andthey’Re like what is thatyou, know same thing with bellator samething with all the other ones. It’Sthey’Re big they’re big. If you know thebottomcombat is treating me amazing, campbellwas, aamazing, owner treated me amazing, tooit’s, just at the lastat the end with kombate ii fought, i defended my title and then iwasi didn’t do anything with me. I wasn’tsure when i was gon na fight again whatwas going onthe opportunity to get into the use. Theufc came upand, i jumped on it right away therewasn’tyeah and there was uh issues of me: stillbeing contracted under theunder, the kabate uh because uh they hadlike a fighter’s clauseabout. It like my contra, all my fightswere over, but they they had like a matcha matching crosses someone else, wantedme they could match and they could keepmea lot. A lot of people spoke up and waslike, hey man, you can’t stop this guyfromachieving, his dream and being the bestin. The world and to be in the best worldi feelthe best fighters, are in the ufc notsaying there’s bad fighters everywhereelse. There are amazing fighterseverywherebut. The ufc majority has the bestfighters hereyeah a hundred percent agree with thatand. I think kombate still hasn’t had anevent. Since so i mean it just showsthat, you did make the right move. You’Vehad two fights, you fought a guywho, a lot of people think could bechampion in your debut and you didextremely well uh, considering everythingthat was going. Onwhat was the biggest lesson from thatfrom that lossi just learned some things. I need towork on more head, movementmore, footwork, more stuff like that. Beingmore patienti didn’t really took it as a loss. Tookit as an experienceyou know, learn from it and just move. Onyou know marab actually showed up at mygym couple weeks: laterand we just we trained at the gym, youknow, no hard feelings at alluh. It’S a business uh we’re here to makemoney and we’re price fighters, sothe people that don’t like each otherthere’s gon na be that but other thanthat, i’m here to have a good timei, think that’s the uh. I think that’s agood mentality to have i’m going to askyou one last question and then i’lluh and then i’ll. Let you go. I know youhave some training to do so. Umbig, title fight coming up between uhfigueroand brandon moreno. Obviously they had avery impressivethey, both won their last fight veryimpressively. If you had to pick who doyou think is winning itbrandon. Ah, the guy iswork hard worker actually helped him uhwasat the house. I think when he was youknowwhen, he’s on ultimate fighter. He traineda lot of extreme guitarwent back to mexico, came back trailed alittle bit herei, truly love, brandon, he’sso, amazing, so hard working and hisgrappling looks amazinggreat. Striking figaro has that power buti got money on himuh, brandon yeah. I mean i think this isgonna be a lotuh. It’S gon na be the most exciting titlefight we’ve had at 125uh in a long time, they’re, both fastbrandon looksincredible, more incredible. Every time, hefights andfiguero i mean. Obviously, what he’s beendoing at 125 is is incredibleyeah he’s treating me he’s truly a greatfighter for sure, um and then uhyou know. Obviously i saw some news: onyour instagram, i’m sure you can’t gointo into a whole lot of detail, but forpeoplewho haven’t seen your fights. What canthey expect next time outhigh pace in your face, taking peopledown takingpretty much taking people’s souls awayand. Just you know getting those finishesand, i’m not gon na i’m not gon na passthere. There is a fightso um. Just keep your eyes peeled foranyone who’s watching he does have afightand it. I’M sure it’ll be out soon isthere. Anyone you want to uhis there. Anyone you want to shout out orany sponsors you want to plug before weuhbefore. We end this uh first of allrockwell, amazing guy and then uhruby’s team, uh amazing people that havebeen supporting me in the beginningand just uh extreme couture everybodyeverybody back. There is just my familyso, i’m excited to juststay here and help people out and getbetter and then get ready for my fightall right man. Thank you very much forthe time and i can’t wait to watch youback out therethank. You take care all right. Man staysafeand there. You have it gustavo lopez, uh135 pounder in the ufcvery very impressed uh with hisperformance in his debut against maraudiwhoa. Lot of people have potentially beingchampion there at 135.he. Obviously, rebounded from that losswith a huge win over anthony burchakbackon november 7th and he’s got anotherfightit’s not out yet so keep your eyespeeled and uh manif you haven’t. Yet this is the last dayi’m gon na rock. This so be sure to uh todonateand uh i’ll, see you guys next time.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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