When the half-and-half hairstyle of Benito ‘Golden Boy’ Lopez (6-0) hits the pillow after a grueling practice, the needed rest allows the bantamweight to recharge his battery, and a reoccurring nightmare, in the midst of training camp, sharpens his deadly senses while competing inside the cage.
On Episode 25 of the @norcalfightmma Podcast (link here), Lopez, prior to headlining King of the Cage (KOTC): Flashback on June 24, 2017, appeared on the show to provide an overview of what his swelling fanbase can expect when counting down the days until he meets Musa Toliver (10-11-1) as the main attraction inside Oroville, California’s Gold Country Casino. In addition to highlighting his preparations for facing an opponent with nearly quadruple the professional bouts, ‘The City of Gold’s fighting pride tucked listeners in with a story about a nightmare, encountered at least once, over the course of every eight-week training camp that, in Lopez’s opinion, elevates his game to another level.
He began, “I have the same nightmare just about every fight camp, and I feel like that nightmare helps me stay motivated.”
Of course, honing his craft alongside Team Alpha Male and amassing, even back to his days as an amateur, an undefeated record firms Lopez’s confidence to continue to pursue his pipe dream as a prizefighter, but he can’t escape the eerie feeling this particular night terror etches into his psyche:
“I’m backstage. My opponent is already in the cage. They’re calling me out, and I can’t find my coaches anywhere. I know in my mind that I didn’t train.” At this moment, a hint of anxiety—visible if viewing on NorCal MMA’s YouTube channel (link here)—seared Lopez’s face, keen to: the worst had yet to come, “I can’t find my coaches; I can’t find my mouthpiece. I’m just super unprepared.”
In reality, Lopez is as fit as a fiddle, and the strategy for Toliver, his most experienced opponent to date, will veer little, if at all, from the path of his previous two, destructive outings in the heart of Gold Country Casino’s deafening atmosphere:
Before the bell rings at KOTC: Flashback and Lopez glistens under their bright lights, he illustrated his thought process while awaiting the sound of his alarm clock, alerting him to the next day’s mat session.
“In my mind, I know I have to finish him early, or I’m going to gas out. But the crowd doesn’t know that.They’re all screaming, ‘Oh, you’re going to kill him! You’re undefeated!’ Then, in my mind, I’m like, ‘Damn…I have to finish him really quick.’ It’s just a scary dream. Then, when I walk to the cage, I wake up.”
If, for some reason, you were sleepy before Lopez’s walkout music cracks over the speakers, the high-voltage cheers from of his followers will zap you into an alert state.
Win, lose, or draw; always remember: Dream big!
For information about tickets, go to: goldcountrycasino.com.