Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes Set for UFC Featherweight Showdown

Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes
Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes (UFC)

Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes are rekindling their rivalry in the UFC featherweight division. Earlier this year, Evloev secured a unanimous decision victory over Arnold Allen at UFC 297, propelling him to the No. 5 spot in the featherweight rankings and positioning him as a potential contender for the title.

However, the title landscape shifted when Ilia Topuria dethroned Alexander Volkanovski, leaving Evloev needing at least one more significant fight to cement his claim for a title shot.

Post-UFC 300, it appeared that Evloev’s next bout might be against former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, as both fighters expressed interest in the matchup.

However, plans fell through when Evloev revealed on Twitter that Sterling wouldn’t be ready to fight until October, while Evloev wanted to fight as early as July. Frustrated, Evloev declared his readiness to fight anyone willing to challenge him, hinting at the need for a quicker opponent.

Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes
Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes (UFC)

Evloev’s and Sterling’s negotiations for the fight had been ongoing for months, leading some to speculate that Evloev’s public call-out was a strategic move. This stirred a response from Diego Lopes, Evloev’s former opponent.

Lopes, who had recently secured a first-round victory over Sodiq Yusuff at UFC 300 and jumped to No. 14 in the rankings, had previously called for a rematch with Evloev, a challenge that Evloev did not acknowledge at the time.

Lopes reiterated his challenge following Evloev’s open call for an opponent, questioning Evloev’s sincerity. He pointed out that after his victory at UFC 300, he had specifically called out Evloev for a rematch during International Fight Week, only to be met with silence.

Lopes emphasized his readiness and willingness to face Evloev again, highlighting the apparent contradiction in Evloev’s recent statements about wanting a fight.

Lopes’ UFC debut was against Evloev at UFC 288, where he stepped in on short notice to replace Bryce Mitchell. Despite losing by unanimous decision, Lopes impressed many by exceeding expectations.

He followed up that performance with two consecutive first-round finishes, earning the title of MMA Fighting’s 2023 Rookie of the Year. Now, with both fighters eyeing each other again, a rematch seems to be on the horizon, promising an intriguing clash in the featherweight division.

Richard Soriano

Written by Richard Soriano

Richard is a massive WWE fan and you will often find him covering WWE news at MiceNews.

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