Kristi Lopez is ready to get back in the mix this Friday as a part of Bellator 182 in Verona, New York. She will face Jessica Sotack for her overdue debut with Bellator, whom she signed a multi-fight contract with earlier this year.
Lopez will be fighting at 125 pounds in Bellator, which she tells us is a lot more comfortable of a weight cut than 115.
It has been nearly a year since Kristi Lopez stepped into a cage at the Ultimate Fighter 23, losing her “get in the house” match to JJ Aldrich by decision. Lopez had turned what was a loss into a positive note in her career.
It’s been a journey. There’s always ups and downs in fighting. It was very humbling and heartbreaking experience, but from that comes the biggest growth. Once you can overcome obstacles and hardships like that, you are ready for anything.
One of the test about being a fighter is if you can keep fight after a loss.
The 2-0 fighter is trained at King’s MMA as she prepared herself for the fight. She has been an up and coming prospect, having been featured on Oxygen’s “Living Different” in 2014 that chronicled her first pro win. After that, she was out with an injury for nearly 8 months. She used the best part of her time out of action.
Fighting is a lot mental. When you have something you want so bad and working so hard for taken away from you for a little bit in terms of an injury or a loss, I think you will either rise up for the challenge and want it that much more or you are going to quit. I am not a quitter.
During the long layoffs, I learned a lot about myself. When you get injured or have to take time off, or things aren’t going your way, you have to be able to persevere.
Lopez has a great support system in her family, which several are boxers. Although she took a different root with grappling, she is looking to return to add to her striking.
Looking at the division in Bellator, she admires Heather Hardy and Illima-Lei MacFarlane, and is looking to make her way up the ranks.
That starts Friday, which will kick off what will hopefully be a new chapter in Lopez’s career. Win or lose, she is happy to be where she is now.
I think things are meant to happen for a reason. One thing I have been feeling is grateful. Grateful for this opportunity. Grateful for Bellator. That just makes me train that much harder, and want this that much more. It makes me want to put on a great show.
Lopez’s match will stream on Bellator.com Friday.