Welcome to the UFC: Gustavo Lopez

Gustavo Lopez, UFC
Gustavo Lopez, UFC on ESPN 10 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The UFC is coming back to the UFC APEX arena for the third straight week this weekend. UFC on ESPN 10 will be the third of five straight cards, before the promotion sets sail for Fight Island. This time out, the show is being headlined by two flyweight contenders in Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo. Other notable fighters at the event include Marvin Vettori, Hannah Cifers, Andre Fili — and there are a few other bangers on the card.

In the bantamweight division Merab Dvalishvili was originally supposed to fight Ray Borg. However, Borg had to pull out due to personal reasons. Now Merab will take on newcomer Gustavo Lopez.

Gustavo Lopez
Wapato, Washington, US
Xtreme Couture
5 Submissions

How will Lopez fare in the UFC:

Gustavo Lopez has a background in high school wrestling and thus far in his MMA career that has proved to be his best weapon. Lately, Lopez has been showing the power in his hands crashing forward and landing that big right hand. He’ll have trouble at times standing flat-footed and leaving his hands down but in his last few fights, he’s done a better job in those areas.

Lopez has only gone outside the second round four times and that’s where his movement lags and gets easier to punch. He does have the power but does a lot of chasing and at times can be a bit telegraphed. He’ll also keep his head on the center line while he throws and is open to the opponents landing a jab. Lopez wants to fight in close range displaying his wrestling. He can set up his takedowns better but he drives into his foes and once he gets his hands around you he’s taking you down. Lopez is a solid grappler and submission fighter staying aggressive attacking the neck. It’s a good signing as I think he can put on fun fights but I don’t think he’ll make any waves in the UFC. It’s worth noting that Lopez enters the fight off his reign as the Combate Americas bantamweight champion.

How does Lopez match up with Dvalishvili:

Merab Dvalishvili has been on a roll and that’s seen him beating good guys in Casey Kenney and Brad Katona. On the feet, this pair matches up well. I don’t think one has a clear advantage but Lopez has produced more power so he may have the edge a bit. Dvalishvili is going to put it on Lopez early and try to lead and finish with his wrestling. In his five UFC fights Dvalishvili has completed 39 takedowns. I’m not sure how hard Lopez will be to take down but he hasn’t at all been tested against a good wrestler. It’s looking like a clear win for Merab because of his forward pressure, wrestling, cardio, and Lopez taking this fight on just a couple of days’ notice.