Even though he’s won four of his five fights this year, current King of the Cage heavyweight and super-heavyweight champion Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez feels like this year hasn’t quite gone the way he’d want it to.
“The Sweden fight (in May) took me off a little bit,” said Lopez. “It was a last minute fight and (Ilir Latifi) just got me with all those takedowns and that.
“I’ve just been trying to be more well-rounded so if do I end up on the ground I can handle it and I don’t have to worry about what (my opponent) is going to do and how he’s trying to hurt me and that.”
The loss to Latifi was Lopez’s first in seven bouts, but he was able to rebound in his next fight with a split-decision win in his return to KOTC against Nick Rossborough in October.
“It felt good, but at the same time I felt like crap because I feel like I was in the worse shape of my life,” said Lopez. “My body was really fatigued because I was working full-time in construction doing heavy lifting and stuff like that, so in the fight I could feel the tiredness in my body.
“I actually quit the job so I could focus on my training and cardio and get everything up to where it needs to be so that doesn’t happen again.”
Lopez will have to be completely ready as he faces his toughest task in a while on Dec. 20 when he takes on former UFC veteran Trevor Prangley at KOTC: Vigilante at the Sam Manuel Casino in Highland, Calif.
“There are lots of things (Prangley) could possibly be coming down with, so I’m prepared for everything,” said Lopez. “The one thing that I want to do different is to try to push the action instead of him just coming at me and me reacting to it.
“That’s one of the thing I’m trying to change with my fighting style is to come out more aggressive and attack instead of wait.”
The fight is scheduled to take place at light heavyweight, and according to Lopez, it makes a world of difference in the kind of fighter he is as opposed to when he’s heavier.
“Having to lose the weight I actually (work hard at it),” he said. “I don’t just get in the sauna and drop 15 pounds and then put it all back on the night of the fight. I lose the weight, so I’m walking around at 205 and am eating a lot better, actually running a lot more and training properly.
“I’m actually 100-percent healthier at that weight.”
Currently under contract to KOTC for the immediate future, Lopez told MMAWeekly.com that he wants continue to build his resume, and there is still much further to go in his career.
“I just want to fight better opponents who will reflect better on my record,” he said.” So I’m just trying to keep the names coming.
“I just want to focus on what I’m doing now so that when I do get to that next point, I know I’ve had done everything right from here until then so that whatever comes next, I can go this way or that way, I can have options.”