Diego Lopes is the next big Latin American star after UFC 300 performance (VIDEO)

Diego Lopes quickly finished Sodiq Yusuff to stun the UFC 300 crowd.
Diego Lopes
Diego Lopes / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

UFC featherweight Diego Lopes passed his biggest Octagon test with flying colors by knocking out Sodiq Yusuff at UFC 300. Lopes and Yusuff featured on the UFC 300 prelims in Las Vegas. The two featherweights fought in front of a wild crowd at T-Mobile Arena that was ready for an exciting pay-per-view card.

Lopes added a jaw-dropping highlight to the early portion of UFC 300 with a wild finish of Yusuff. After dropping Yusuff with an uppercut, Lopes sealed the win with ground-and-pound just over a minute into the fight.

Lopes had a vocal Brazilian and Mexican fanbase in attendance at UFC 300. The crowd erupted as the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Lopes has won three straight fights since a UFC debut loss to Movsar Evloev at UFC 288. He took the Evloev fight on days' notice and handed the unbeaten contender one of his toughest tests inside the cage.

Diego Lopes asserts himself as a surging featherweight contender

After falling to Evloev, Lopes bounced back with a first-round triangle armbar submission of Gavin Tucker in August. He then knocked out Pat Sabatini at UFC 295 before his UFC 300 showcase performance. Lopes' rise to UFC stardom was anything but easy. He fell short of a UFC contract on Dana White's Contender Series in 2021, losing to Joanderson Brito by unanimous decision.

Things didn't get easier for Lopes, who then proceeded to lose a split decision to Nate Richardson at Fury FC 52. The back-to-back defeats ended up being a significant catalyst to his current streak inside the cage. Lopes is one of the most exciting featherweight prospects in the UFC, as further evidenced by his UFC 300 win. He has a fan-friendly style with high volume on the feet, along with his elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu toolbox.

It also doesn't hurt Lopes' development that he trains with one of the world's best fighters: UFC flyweight champion Alexa Grasso. Lopes serves as Grasso's BJJ coach and was a significant presence for Grasso's back-to-back wins over Valentina Shevchenko.

Lopes will likely earn a featherweight Top 15 ranking after his win over Yusuff. He could potentially earn a UFC Fight Night main event slot before the end of 2024. Lopes is the latest in a slew of rising contenders in the UFC featherweight division. The champion, Ilia Topuria, needs new title challengers, making Lopes a potential future option.

For now, Lopes is basking in the glory of the biggest win of his MMA career, and he's proven to be a significant puzzle to solve inside the UFC Octagon. He'll earn another steep test for his anticipated return later in 2024. Follow along as FanSided MMA has you covered with the live results and highlights from UFC 300 in Las Vegas.


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