Loopy Godinez is the UFC Atlantic City fighter to watch

Keep your eyes peeled on Loopy Godinez who fights Virna Jandiroba at UFC Atlantic City.

Sep 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Loopy Godinez (red gloves) reacts after defeating Elise Reed
Sep 16, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Loopy Godinez (red gloves) reacts after defeating Elise Reed / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

When you look at the fight card for UFC Atlantic City, you see the type of lineup we have come to expect from a UFC Fight Night road show. You have fighters who call the region home, young prospects looking to gain experience in front of a packed crowd, and fights of major consequence. One such fight features Loopy Godinez.

Somehow relegated to the undercard, the most consequential fight of the night outside of the main event, takes place in the strawweight division featuring No. 10 Godinez taking on No. 5 Virna Jandiroba. This fight represents Godinez's stiffest test to date, both from a rankings and stylistic standpoint. Jandiroba is her highest-ranked opponent to date and the first one who is her equal as a grappler.

Godinez, a former LFA strawweight champion, embodies the anytime, anywhere attitude that fans love, often accepting fights as a late notice replacement. She set the record for fastest turnaround between UFC fights, having beat Silvana Gómez Juárez via armbar at strawweight and then turning around to fight Luana Carolina at flyweight just seven days later. She would then drop back down to strawweight and best Loma Lookboonmee 35 days after that.

Having a true fighter's spirit is essential to success in mixed martial arts, but it will only carry you so far. Godinez also possesses a very high level and well rounded skill set. She is the only fighter in the top five in UFC strawweight history in significant strike defense, significant strike accuracy, takedown accuracy, and control time.

Godinez's martial arts journey began with judo, then Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling. Both of her sisters are members of the Canadian National Wrestling Team. Her early experience in grappling was evident in her early fights, though she has worked relentlessly to round out her game.

Loopy Godinez who fights Virna Jandiroba at UFC Atlantic City

We have seen an improved version of Godinez every time she has set foot in the Octagon. Prior to her fight with Elise Reed, she began training full time at the Guadalajara, Mexico based Lobo Gym, the home of Irene Aldana and UFC flyweight champion, Alexa Grasso. This move has paid dividends as she can now utilize an ever improving boxing skillset to set up her takedowns and grappling. Godinez will need all of her skills to earn the biggest win of her career.

Jandiroba has earned 13 of her 19 career victories by submission. The former Invicta Fighting Championship strawweight champion has continued to expand her game by adding a ground and pound threat to her already stellar submission skills. Her only losses since joining the UFC are via decision to former champion Carla Esparza, Mackenzie Dern, and Amanda Ribas, while she has defeated Angela Hill and Marina Rodriguez, who was ranked No. 5 at the time.

The strawweight title will be on the line when Yan Xiaonan challenges Zhang Weili at UFC 300 on April 13. The only clear cut contender in the division after that fight is Tatiana Suarez, so a victory over Jandiroba would plant Godinez's name in to the championship conversation. With an historically well rounded skillset and the perfect opponent to make a statement against in a division looking for title challengers, Godinez is the fighter to watch at UFC Atlantic City


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