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Diego Lopes UFC 295 Fight with Pat Sabatini: Vows to Shock the World Again

Diego Lopes vs. Pat Sabatini kick off UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden, a fight Lopes has been hoping for.

Diego Lopes and Pat Sabatini are set to kick off the pay-per-view portion of UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden, and this is a fight that Lopes has been hoping for. Lopes, a Brazilian fighter, has been closely following jiu-jitsu and grappling tournaments, and he became intrigued by a matchup between Sabatini and Alex Caceres, both MMA featherweights.

Lopes, who was competing in Mexico's regional MMA scene at the time, had hopes of catching the attention of UFC matchmakers. He believed that grappling with a UFC fighter could potentially land him a deal with the company. "I asked my manager to try and get me a grappling match with him," Lopes said of Sabatini on MMA Fighting's Trocação Franca podcast. "And to be fighting him now, that's pretty funny. I saw him compete in grappling, and it's so cool that I have the chance to fight him in the UFC now."

When the fight was announced for UFC 295, Lopes remembered Sabatini's fighting style and felt prepared. He had been studying Sabatini's game and was ready for whatever he would bring to the fight. Sabatini, a former Cage Fury FC featherweight champion, had previously choked out Lucas Almeida with an arm-triangle choke in his most recent UFC appearance in June, improving to a 5-1 record in the company. Lopes, on the other hand, recently forced Gavin Tucker to tap with a flying triangle-armbar, rebounding from a debut loss to Movsar Evloev.

Lopes, now 1-1 in the UFC with two $50,000 bonuses in his pocket, has been competing in jiu-jitsu for nearly two decades. He finished his UFC 295 training in his native Manaus, known as the birthplace for a number of jiu-jitsu legends in Brazil. Lopes expressed confidence in his grappling skills and mentioned that he is always going for the submission, but he is also aware of Sabatini's strong defense. He anticipates a great jiu-jitsu clash in the fight.

"I've trained with two world champions [in Manaus], and I'm ready to shock the world one more time," Lopes said. "I'm here to make it clear that I'm a strong candidate to be in the top 15, top 10, and top 5 next year."

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