After the initial crack from a focus mitt evaporated, Benito ‘Golden Boy’ Lopez (8-0) turned his tunnel-vision toward becoming the best-of-the-best in MMA’s bantamweight division.
Lopez joined the professional ranks in 2014, and the twenty-three-year-old phenom from Oroville, California has gathered a rabid fanbase during his undefeated run on the regional circuit. In Lopez’s last trip to the cage, the Team Alpha Male (TAM) representative earned his long-awaited passage into the UFC with a victory over Steven Peterson on Episode 7 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Known as ‘Golden Boy,’ Lopez possesses a belief, palpable to anyone within proximity, in his ability to become a UFC champion. Leading into Lopez’s first order of business—December 9, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 123—on a long campaign ahead at 135-pounds, he discussed his upcoming affair in Fresno against Albert ‘The Warrior’ Morales (7-2-1), an opponent who ignited a heated rivalry, with James Lynch of Fansided MMA (link here).
Along Lopez’s ascent, he was slated to meet Morales for the West Coast Fight Championships Bantamweight Title; however, an injury forced the flashy up-and-comer from the card. This cancellation sparked friction between the two, which has since accelerated into a raging inferno, as detailed by Lopez.
“We were scheduled to fight, and I ended up getting a concussion about two weeks out. I got concuss from him [Cody Garbrandt] and had to pull out, and he [Morales] went on social media and was running his mouth, saying a bunch of things: He said I’m a pretend fighter and don’t do this for real, but he’s been training half as long as I have; this is all I’ve been doing since I was twelve.”
Here we go again,I'm sick of fake fighters. I've sat back all weekend holding my tongue, but I can't take it anymore. My opponent pulled out on Saturday due to a supposed concussion he suffered a few weeks back. First off, I feel if you suffered an injury that you felt was serious, you should have pulled out then, not 2 weeks before the fight, leaving your opponent fightless. I call bullshit; he knew he was facing a real fighter that was coming to blast through his ass.This is the way I put food on my table for my family, not just some fake ass dream. Look I said it before and I'll say it again this isn't a just a sport it's the hurt business and if your scared get the fuck out. #thewarrior #teamwarrior #mma #fight #fightlife #fighting #boxing #muythai #bjj #ufc #themovementboxing #blackhouse #teamiridium #carlsonGracie #teammass #virusintl #gonethree #knwrzn #elitetrainingcenter #southbaykettlebells
Enveloped in the atmosphere of competition, energy pulses from Lopez like a surging storm system, as detected by Lynch in the midst of the interview, and it seems Morales touched a particular nerve of the TAM prospect, thereby, unlocking another level of intensity.
“It’s personal. I’ve never been so fired up for a fight in my life, and I can’t wait for the bell to ring so I can get my hands on him.”