With finance career on hold, Miesha Tate-managed Gustavo Lopez eyes UFC deal

Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

For some, pursuing fighting as a career stems from a lack of options. For others, it’s a logical development of lifelong athletic pursuits. But for bantamweight Gustavo Lopez, it was a conscious choice that took straying away from what was probably a safer path.

Lopez, 28, trains during the week and works two jobs – as security and as a busser – on the weekends to cover the bills. While his day-to-day isn’t that big of a departure from that of many up-and-comers who have yet to make it to the big stages, it’s one that would probably be a bit more comfortable had he not decided to go with his gut.

“I was starting my finance career, and I’m like, ‘My passion is in fighting,’” Lopez told MMAjunkie Radio. “I love to fight. I love to train. I was trying to do both. It was super stressful, and I just (said to myself), ‘You know what? I can always go back. I’ve got my degree. It doesn’t go away. It does’t expire. I’m still keep up on that stuff. If I ever need or would like to go back to it, the option is there.’

“Other than a bachelor’s (degree) in finance, I’ve got two associates in business accounting. (I’m) a very savvy, very smart with numbers, very intelligent kind of guy. But my passion is in competing. I want to be the best in the world. Right now, the pinnacle of fighting is being the UFC champion.”

Lopez (8-2) is currently riding a two-fight winning streak – both stemming from first-round submissions. The first of those, at Combate Americas, came over someone whose last name may sound familiar: Steve Swanson, UFC contender Cub Swanson’s older brother. It was a big one too; Swanson was coming off four straight knockout wins before getting caught in the first round by Lopez.

Considering his consecutive dominant displays, Lopez and his manager –  former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who also happens to be his close friend and training partner of seven years – think that a big leap might be in the horizon.

“We both feel like we’re one, two fights away from just getting already in the UFC,” Lopez said.

In the meantime, however, Lopez wants to stay as active as possible. While he is a five-fight Combate Americas veteran, Lopez actually has an open contract that allows him to explore his options. The weekly Dana White’s Contender Series events on UFC Fight Pass, for instance, could be one of them.

“There’s a chance,” Lopez said. “There are some bantamweights I feel I can just dominate.”

But, willing to fight at either flyweight or bantamweight, the 28-year-old fighter also sees a possibility of bypassing the weekly series and making it straight to the octagon – even if that means taking a short-notice call. If not, there’s certainly no lack of options.

“(PFL President) Ray Sefo offered me a fight already, on the biggest (PFL) show here,” Lopez said. “Combate (Americas), (I’m) still talking to them, because even though I’m not under contract with them, if they keep me active, I’d love to keep fighting with them. Because they’re a great promotion and good fanbase, all Hispanics, all Latino. They treat their fighters really well.”

Despite the momentum, fact is that Lopez is still unable to support himself exclusively with fighting. And like probably everyone in his position, he certainly would like to change it. Which is what he hopes will happen now that he’s being managed by Tate and her agency, AO8.

“The plan, hopefully, with this management is picking up these big sponsors that would (say) like, ‘Hey, what’s your rent? What’s your this? What are your necessities? We’ll pay for it. Do your thing. We’re going to support you.’” Lopez said. “That’s the dream.

“I’d love to fight four to five times (a year), maybe. Even more, if possible. If I go in there and dominate like I know I can, I’ll keep fighting every couple of months. I have no kids. I just have my girl and my dogs, and now a cat. I love to train and fight. I’d love to do as much as possible, if I could. Working, it’s a necessity right now to pay the bills.”

For more on upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2505 with Gina Mazany, Gustavo Lopez, Dave LaGreca

Stream or download Friday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Gina Mazany, Gustavo Lopez and Dave LaGreca.

UFC women’s bantamweight Mazany and MMA free agent Gustavo Lopez, both fighting out of the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas, co-hosted the second hour of the show. LaGreca, host of the pro wrestling show “Busted Open” on SiriusXM Rush 93, talked to the hosts about crossover athletes like Brock Lesnar, Cris “Cyborg” and Shayna Baszler, and how they impact each sport.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

Filed under: News, PFL, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Gina Mazany, Gustavo Lopez and Dave LaGreca

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Gina Mazany, Gustavo Lopez and Dave LaGreca.

Mazany, a UFC women’s bantamweight, and Lopez, bantamweight prospect who’s looking for a big opportunity, join us in studio. LaGreca hosts “Busted Open” on SiriusXM 93.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie