Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Team Alpha Male bantamweight Benito Lopez as he makes his UFC debut against Albert Morales at UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno, California.
Hometown: Oroville, California
Weight Class: Bantamweight
Camp: Team Alpha Male
Career Record: 8-0
Key Wins: Steven Peterson
Key Losses: None
The Team Alpha trained fighter enters his UFC debut with an 8-0 professional record. Prior to a decision victory on the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series, Lopez had won five straight bouts inside the distance.
- Very long for the weight class
- Good athlete
- Aggressive on the feet
- Variety in his striking
- Uses a lot of knee strikes and does so effectively
- Good guillotine choke
- Can be pressed against the cage
- Takedown defense is below average at best
- Doesn’t offer much offense off his back
Offensive Striking: C
Striking Defense: D+
Knockout Power: C-
Offensive Wrestling: D+
Takedown Defense: D
Overall Grade: C-
Matchup with Albert Morales
In what should be an entertaining bantamweight fight, Albert Morales welcomes Benito Lopez to the UFC. Both fighters have good size for the division, but it is Lopez that is longer and is capable of maintaining range. Morales will need to use kicks to be able to get into range to land his hands. Morales may have more natural power in his lands, but its Lopez variety on the feet whether that’s spinning strikes, flying knees, or kicks which are the most dangerous in this bout. Both of these fighters are young and capable of have some success in this division, but look for The Team Alpha Male fighter to be the better-rounded fighter at the moment with the more dangerous tools at this point. I expect this bout to be a high volume, competitive contest, but for Lopez varied striking attack to be the difference to get him the win. With the fight lined as a picked, there’s a little value in placing a bet on Lopez as he should be -140, but there are certainly better spots on the card.
At just 23 years of age, Benito Lopez has a bright future in the UFC. He’s got a nice striking arsenal which he combines with length and athleticism. He comes from a very good camp which should allow him to compete right away in the UFC. He does need to be more physical against the cage and on the mat. If he can improve his physicality, it wouldn’t surprise me at some point if he’s a top 15 bantamweight.
Check out Benito Lopez in some of his most recent fights:
Benito Lopez vs. Rick James
Benito Lopez vs. Steven Peterson
Benito Lopez vs. Matt Wagy