Coming into his first fight of 2015 in February, 125-pound up-and-comer Hector Lopez was looking to remain undefeated and to continue his rise up the Northwest fighting ranks.
Standing in Lopez’s way at SFL America 3 was veteran Arjay Murphy. But as things had gone in his previous bouts, Lopez was able to come out with the victory and stay unblemished.
“I felt good about the fight, but there were some things that I saw after (that I felt I could improve upon),” Lopez told MMAWeekly.com. “I could have finished the fight maybe earlier.
“One problem I’ve had since my first pro fight was that I don’t continue to attack, and allow my opponents to recover. That’s something I can’t allow happen.”
Lopez’s turnaround for his upcoming fight at SFL 40 will only be a couple months, compared to the nearly seven-month layoff he had prior to defeating Murphy earlier this year.
“I want to be active, but there are a lot of circumstances that don’t allow me to like my job and my schedule,” said Lopez. “Now that I am to be a father, I’m trying to stay as active as I can instead of taking a big break.”
Lopez (4-0) will have no easy task at this Saturday’s SFL event in Tacoma, Wash., when he faces off against Canadian veteran Gurdarshan Mangat (6-1) in a feature bout.
“I can’t allow my opponent any breaks or allow him to attack me,” Lopez said of Mangat. “I have to keep the pressure on. I can’t have any regrets and just do anything I can to win the fight, no matter what.”
For Lopez, a win over Mangat will not only be big for his career, but will also allow him to see how far he’s come as a fighter in the past two years.
“This is a big fight for me,” said Lopez. “It could be a big door opener because he’s been fighting a lot longer than I have.
“I’m fighting a weight class higher than I normally do and I just want to see where I’m at. So this is a big challenge for me and will show me where I stand at.”