Diego Lopes made an outstanding impression during his UFC 288 debut match. Despite accepting the fight with Movsar Evloev only five days before the event, Lopes came close to outmaneuvering the top-ranked featherweight with a series of armbar, kimura, and kneebar moves, but ultimately lost via a decision. Lopes shared that he always intended to showcase his abilities, even under short notice.
Lopes stated that he had told his coach and teammates about his plans to fight for a bonus in each of his UFC fights, regardless of the outcome. Lopes hoped to nullify Evloev’s game and avoid letting him control the pace of the match, planning instead to carry out attacks from the bottom an approach that he successfully executed throughout the fight. Although Lopes aimed to win, he was content with the outcome and considered it a dream come true to fight in the UFC.
Despite Lopes’ impressive maneuvers, Evloev fought hard to escape from multiple submission attempts and won on the scorecards. With a laugh, Lopes commented that Evloev did not tap during the match because he is Russian. Lopes noted that he had previously fought a Russian fighter in Russia in 2018 and that the same thing happened.
Lopes attempted an armbar and kneebar but failed to make him tap. Lopes knew that fighting a tough undefeated Russian fighter like Evloev would be no easy feat, given his reputation and skill level. However, Lopes enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to fight against a highly ranked fighter.
Lopes, who lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, for eight years, plans to take a break to visit his family in Manaus, Brazil, before scheduling his next fight. He hopes to join a card in August or September, but this time, with more preparation time.
Despite losing to Evloev, Lopes is eager for a rematch, perhaps even at a future title fight. Both fighters are of the same age and have the potential to win in their division. Lopes thinks that they could meet up again in the future without any problems.