Bellator 265: Jornel Lugo Lost Life Savings on Crypto, Ready to Win It Back

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Jornel Lugo Bellator MMA
Cass Bell vs Jornel Lugo (left), Bellator 256 Credit: Bellator MMA

Undefeated bantamweight prospect Jornel Lugo lost his life savings in the cryptocurrency market — and his wife’s.

The 6-0 fighter returns to the cage this Friday at Bellator 265, and he’s hoping to invest some of his prize money, and recoup those losses.

In an exclusive interview with Cageside Press, Lugo, who eventually got back into the crypto world, revealed that “I wound up putting my whole life savings, mine and my wife’s life savings, like $20,000, [into crypto] and I lost it all. I lost all the money because I put it into some kind of scam.”

After that financial hit, Lugo left the crypto world behind for a couple of years. But he never lost interest in it. “I want to make my money back. So I got back into it. I want to make my money back that I lost from before. So it’s kind of like a hobby. It’s fun to do, but it’s also a good investment.”

He admits, however, that his wife wasn’t pleased. “That’s an L. I won’t be able to live that one down. That one sucks.”

Lugo has learned from his mistake, however. “Before, I didn’t diversify, I put all my money, all my eggs in one basket. I got greedy, I wasn’t being smart. Now, I’m diversifying, I have over 110 different coins.” One of the coins Lugo is big on these days is DAG (Constellation), which as of this writing was up over 9% in the last 24 hours. Lugo might just get his money back after all.

If not, well, he always has fighting, something Lugo has proven to be very good at. Undefeated through six professional fights, the bantamweight sees a blueprint for success in recent featherweight grand prix winner A.J. McKee.

He also believes that like McKee, he can run the gauntlet in a grand prix tournament.

“The [135lb] tournament didn’t start a year ago, because I wouldn’t have been ready to go in the tournament a year ago,” Lugo told us, suggesting the timing was meant to be. “Now I’m about to be 7-0, then I’ll be 8-0, and then the tournament will start, and I’m definitely in the tournament. So I think everything went perfectly for me, so that I could win that tournament.”

When it comes to the McKee comparison, “that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” said Lugo. “I’m going to go out there, stay undefeated, and win that tournament that’s coming up for the bantamweights.” Lugo, like many others, is suspecting that bantamweight will be the next grand prix for Bellator. “I’ll win this fight, probably win one more, the tournament will start, then I’ll win that tournament, and I’ll get that million dollars.”

It’s more than just a hunch, really. Bellator President Scott Coker has been open about floating the 135lb tournament idea. Especially after Bellator 264 last week, which saw Raufeon Stots defeat Magomed Magomedov.

Before any tournament talk, there’s Keith Lee, brother of UFC star Kevin. Lee enters the bout off a loss to Stots, who is arguably next in line for the title.

“I think he has good heart,” Lugo said of his opponent. “Good heart, good cardio. But I think his skills are not all that. In my opinion, I feel like I’m just much better than him everywhere. He seems like a nice guy, so I feel bad saying that, but I’m just going to go prove it.”

Currently, Lugo sits at #8 in Bellator’s official bantamweight rankings — and in a refreshing take, Lugo admits there are a few other fighters who deserve to be there in his place.

“I’m glad to be ranked, but I probably shouldn’t be either,” he stated. “We’ve got Brett Johns, Danny Sabatello, we’ve got a couple different guys that are outside the rankings right now with really good records. Those guys probably should be in the rankings, but I’m glad that I’m in it.”

As much as he’s “a realist” who understands he probably shouldn’t be in the rankings, “don’t get it twisted,” Lugo added. “I’m definitely going to win the whole tournament, I’m going to beat all the guys inside the top 10. So it doesn’t matter anyways, I’m going to be the champion.”

Bellator 265 takes place Friday, August 20 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. For more from Jornel Lugo, his media day appearance can be viewed below.

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