Diego Lopes argues for Movsar Evloev rematch on International Fight Week: ‘That’s the fight to make’

Diego Lopes wants his rematch.

Lopes scored the biggest win of his career when he finished Sodiq Yusuff in just 89 seconds at UFC 300. Lopes is the first man to finish Yusuff in the UFC, and did so on the biggest stage, and according to the Brazilian prospect, that was the plan.

“I think we all believed this was going to be the result,” Lopes said through a translator on The MMA Hour.

“Looking at the fight, we knew you could touch Sodiq, but not very many people have finished him. That was the goal, and obviously the results went they way that they did, and that’s a testament to our hard work.”

Lopes’ win earned him his first spot in the UFC featherweight rankings, debuting at No. 14. He says that’s only the beginning. Immediately after finishing Yusuff, Lopes hopped the fence to speak to UFC CEO Dana White, who was cageside. Lopes laid out his exact plan for becoming the best in the world, and it starts with a rematch.

“I jumped over the cage and talked to Dana,” Lopes said. “I said, ‘Dana, I’m going to be champion one day. Give me my rematch with Movsar Evloev on International Fight Week. After this, I’ll beat Movsar Evloev and go to Spain.’”

Lopes faced Evloev at UFC 288, stepping in on less than a week’s notice to make his promotional debut. Despite being a newcomer and facing one of the top fighters in the division, Lopes impressed, losing a decision in a competitive bout that won Fight of the Night honors. Since then, Lopes has been near perfect in the UFC, with three wins all by first-round finish. Meanwhile, Evloev has only competed once, winning a unanimous decision over Arnold Allen in January to put himself on the cusp of a title shot.

But with Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski seemingly ahead of Evloev in the title shot line, Lopes hopes this means he can get the rematch next and put himself in that title conversation as well.

“I talked to [my manager] this morning and put out there that I would love the rematch,” Lopes said. “That’s the fight that I want. I also put out there that I’m ready to fight. I want that fight. That’s the fight to make. He can say all he wants about, ‘Oh, hey, guys don’t want to fight me!’ But I’ll fight him. I’m here. I’ll scrap.

“Definitely,” Lopes continued. “That’s definitely the fight that we want. He’s right there, No. 5, so beating him puts me right there in title contention and that’s what we want.”

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