After surgery forced him to take time off, welterweight prospect Chris Lopez’s return to MMA hasn’t gone exactly as he’d planned.
Against Edwynn Jones in October, Lopez landed an accidental knee, ending the fight in a No Contest. Then against Charlie Ontiveros, Lopez feels he dominated the fight but lost out to a hometown split-decision in his opponent’s favor.
“I was actually winning the fight (against Jones),” said Lopez to MMAWeekly.com. “It was ruled a No Contest, but by the unified MMA rules it should have gone to the score cards. That was a mistake on the state’s end and is something that hasn’t been overturned yet.
“With Charlie Ontiveros, I kicked his ass in his hometown and got robbed. That’s all it was. Honestly, I don’t even felt like I’ve had a bad year. I came back from surgery and have fought a couple of times. I’ve been busy since last year. I don’t really see it like a bump in the road.”
Lopez (6-1, 1NC) will look to get back on the winning track when he takes on Fabio Trindade (5-3) in a main card 170-pound bout at RFA 41 on July 29 in San Antonio, Texas.
“I think he’s a great grappler,” Lopez said of Trindade. “He’s been a black belt for a while. I actually trained with him in the past in a school in San Antonio. I have nothing but respect for him.
“When I go in there, I’m a mixed martial artist, I’m not worried about Jiu-Jitsu, it’s an MMA fight. I have a lot of respect for him, but I’m going to do my thing.”
Having fought on smaller shows the past couple years, Lopez knows it’s of the utmost importance to have a good showing back on the national stage with RFA.
“This is a big opportunity for me,” he said. “I just found out I’m going to be on the TV portion of the card and I’m going to take advantage of it. I never thought I’d be fighting for such a big organization that can help get me into the UFC, so I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
Lopez sees this as the first step towards working his way to the UFC, and plans to make the most of it.
“I think this is a start of something new,” Lopez said. “Getting some exposure and showing everyone who I am. I’m going to take advantage of it because you really don’t get these opportunities a lot. I’m thankful to the RFA and I’m looking forward to showing everybody who I am.”