Benito Lopez: The UFC Journey Begins In Fresno

After punching his golden ticket into the UFC with a dynamic display of striking and problem solving, Benito ‘The Golden Boy’ Lopez (8-0) will make his debut on December 9, 2017, when the MMA conglomerate touches down inside Fresno, California’s Save Mart Center.

Performing with a shine his local fanbase would flock to enjoy, both during his amateur stint and pro, the twenty-three year old phenom fulfilled his prizefighting prophesy when the UFC’s President, Dana White, granted the talent from Team Alpha Male a green-light into the promotion, especially after displaying a jaw-dropping effort on Episode 7 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series (DWTNCS). First on Lopez’s hit list: Albert ‘The Warrior’ Morales (7-2-1).

Tensions will flare between Lopez and Morales, as these two young bantamweights were supposed to meet on May 7, 2016 for the West Coast Fighting Bantamweight Title. An injury forced the Oroville native to withdraw from the contest, which caused Morales to bark with a barrage of attacks on Lopez’s social media; therefore, UFC Fight Night 123 will be the championship affair that Northern California never received.


Benito Lopez: Hired on the Spot at DWTNCS

Following a hard fought split-decision victory, Dana White, the UFC’s President and Promoter of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS), unanimously decided to hire Team Alpha Male’s Benito ‘Golden Boy’ Lopez at the conclusion of DWTNCS’ seventh week.

Over the course of three rounds, the head of Steven ‘Ocho’ Peterson was nearly removed from his shoulders with the repetitive, well-timed knees and toes of Lopez. Leading into the mid-week melee, streamed on UFC Fight Pass, the young phenom out of Oroville, California had opened caskets for his opposition with lethal strikes. Unfortunately, the granite skull of Peterson, Lopez’s most experienced foe to date, never cracked, but that didn’t prevent White from sealing a deal with Lopez and rolling out the red carpet to the brightest lights in all of mixed martial arts.

Interestingly enough, Lopez’s half gold-half black hairstyle doesn’t reflect all of the lustrous dreams caged inside his head about being wrapped in championship glory; therefore, fight fans should keep an eye on his walk down the yellow-brick road toward the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division.

Benito Lopez: Taking Full Advantage of a 50/50 Opportunity

“However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”

—Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—

Benito ‘The Golden Boy’ Lopez (7-0) recently received MMA’s ‘Golden Ticket:’ a chance to compete in the hottest mid-week MMA show on the market against Steven ‘Ocho’ Peterson (15-5).

The only thing guaranteed to contestants of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series (DWTNCS): a thorough evaluation of skill and ‘it’ factor. Even inches away from Dana White, the UFC’s figurehead, in the  quaint setting of the TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) Gym, the athletes featured each week on the UFC Fight Pass series can rest assured that they’ll be handed a worthy adversary; moreover, a strong performance is key to unlocking the door from dreams into reality. On August 22, 2017, the budding prodigy out of Team Alpha Male (TAM) will highlight the fluency of his attributes; thus, justifying Lopez’s place amongst the UFC’s elite bantamweights. 

“You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”

—Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—

Truth is, most MMA fans tune-in to DWTNCS without much certainty about who fills either corner of the Octagon. Normally touting unknown talent is promotional suicide, except the concept of DWTNCS centers around the construction of future stars in the sport.

Although Lopez’s hair is a split-decision—half blonde, half black—the twenty-three year old, his TAM support system, and swelling following in the region are well aware of the explosive power he possesses to, potentially, blow the bald mind of his prospective boss, which is a necessary ingredient in earning the invitation to the UFC. A stat absent from Lopez’s records: an uncanny ability to pump the electric bill of a bustling metropolis through the veins of his rural hometown—Oroville, California. In his previous three outings, the Gold Country Casino & Hotel was stuffed to the rafters to witness the continued ascent of ‘The Golden Boy’ in their beloved ‘City of Gold.’ Under a work order from King of the Cage (KOTC), Lopez made mince-meat of each foe who dared to enter his backyard; most notably, his early 2016 contest, entitled KOTC: Home Turf, drew to a close after only eight-seconds melted from the clock.

Much like Lopez, his counterpart on August 22nd, Steven Peterson, launched into MMA as a flyweight but soon outgrew such a compact exoskeleton. A close examination of Peterson’s last seven scraps reflects a respectable run, winning all but one; in contrast to Lopez, Peterson also owns nearly triple the experiences to place under the microscope. Having traced a path alongside those at LFA (Legacy Fighting Alliance) and Legacy Fighting Championship on AXS TV, Peterson will be poised to press Lopez in his sternest test to date on Episode 7 of DWTNCS.

Benito Lopez: Fulfilling A Dream One Nightmare at A Time

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!

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King of the Cage: Crunch Time

kingo-fo-the-cage-crunch-time-posterIt was only a matter of time before Benito ‘Goldenboy’ Lopez (6-0) and Ricky Simon (8-1) battled for bantamweight supremacy on the west coast. On March 18, 2017, King of the Cage (KOTC) contracted the headlining slot, along with a slough of other talented prizefighters calling Northern California home, to perform in front of a packed house inside Gold Country Casino & Hotel for KOTC: Crunch Time. Continue reading