Godinez recently entered the promotion’s official strawweight rankings with her dominant win over Elise Reed this past September at Noche UFC. Lopes, who’s one of Godinez’s main coaches at Lobo Gym and also a fellow UFC fighter, believes that was just part of the path that to eventually take the Mexican fighter to the title.
Lopes sees a ton of potential in Godinez, and he won’t shy away from voicing it.
“When our coach saw her, and Pancho has a lot of vision, when she stopped by a week, then 10 days, then another week, and she was going back and forth between Canada and Mexico, Pancho said, ‘She has what it takes to be a champion,’” Lopes told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “Wherever she decided she wanted to train, we were always going to be there to help get there. So anyway, the first fight she worked with us was for one of her UFC Apex fights, and Pancho was training with her, and he was in her corner, and she won.
“Now, she did her full camp with us and officially joined the team. She’s part of us, and I was able to work with her for her Noche UFC fight. Loopy has evolved a ton, and she’s had the trust in us. Her hands have improved, and don’t even get me started on her jiu-jitsu and wrestling. She’s improving. … Loopy has what it takes to be a champion, and we’re going to get there step by step.”
Godinez was training in Canada and over the summer switched full time to Lobo Gym in Guadalajara, Mexicao to train full time alongside UFC women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso and top women’s bantamweight contender Irene Aldana.
The 30-year-old Godinez is 5-1 in her past six UFC performances, with her only loss a short notice fight against former Invicta FC champion Angela Hill.
Lopes, a UFC featherweight, is confident in Godinez’s skills and future evolution, but he highlights her athleticism and strength as a big differentiator in the division.
“Loopy is like up to my chest in terms of her height, and she picks me up like if I were 10 pounds,” Lopes said. “She’s so strong, and mixing that strength with her technique and intelligence, I think we can make her a champion.”
Check out the Hablemos MMA YouTube channel for Spanish-language videos and interviews with MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura.
This story originally appeared on MMA Junkie