Matthew Lopez missed weight for his bantamweight scrap against Raphael Assuncao on Saturday at UFC Norfolk. So how would he look in the cage against one of the toughest bantamweight outs?
Raphael Assuncao entered Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, VA on a two fight win streak. Those wins came against solid competition in Marlon Moraes (who was victorious against John Dodson at UFC Norfolk) and Aljamain Sterling; Assuncao was clearly on a roll, and looking to keep going. Lopez, meanwhile, had won two straight as well. This bout was set to boost one fighter that much closer to a title fight in the wide-open bantamweight division.
Early on Assuncao held the center of the cage, going on the attack while Lopez slipped back and countered. Lopez caught the Brazilian with a right hand early, but Assuncao pushed onward. Lopez would then go to the body, and it appeared he was putting everything behind every strike. Assuncao, meanwhile, clipped Lopez with a right of his own. It was the Brazilian who flashed a more varied arsenal, adding in some kicks, but mostly fanning on them. Lopez then answered back, striking out with a leg kick. In the final minute, Lopez would land a takedown, but Assuncao was able to quickly make it back to his feet.
In the second, Assuncao unleashed hard leg kicks, while Lopez fell back on his wrestling skills, looking to get the fight down. Assuncao proved to have solid wrestling defense, however, keeping the affair upright. The inside leg kicks hit home with a crack, and Lopez was soon showing mobility issues. In the final minute of the second, Assuncao would catch Lopez with a crisp right, wobbling him.
Assuncao went right back to attacking Lopez’s leg to start round three. Showing deep shades of purple, Lopez’s leg was looking worse for the wear. He continued to fight on, however, despite the constant attack. Suddenly, however, it was all over for Matthew Lopez. In the blink of an eye, Raphael Assuncao launched a flying knee, missed, but launched a right hand that connected flush on the chin of Lopez. Lopez dropped like a sack of potatoes, and it was all over! Assuncao, a class act, also managed to pull up on a follow-up blow, seeing Lopez was out.
Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez by knockout, Round 3, 1:50