Diego Lopes

Diego Lopes burst onto the UFC scene with a short-notice fight against future title challenger Movsar Evloev. He dropped a decision but went to war with a legitimate top 5 featherweight on the roster. Since then, Lopes has won back-to-back fights with first-round finishes.

Sodiq “Super” Yusuff, ranked #13 in the 145 division, entered the UFC on the heels of one of the best DWCS fights of all time back in 2018. Since then, he is 6-2, with his wins split between three first-round finishes and three decisions.

Betting Odds

Despite being unranked, Lopes opened as the favorite and has held steady at about the same number all week.

  • Diego Lopes: -135 (BetUS)
  • Sodiq Yusuff: +115 (BetUS)


Lopes has shown both extreme ends of a fighter in only three fights. He has shown extreme aggression and violence capped off by first-round finishes in dominating fashion. Then on the other side, he has shown an ability to go to war for a tough and grueling 15-minute fight.

On the feet, Lopes is an athletic striker with good pop and an energetic and pressure style that showcases cardio. While his striking is dangerous and dynamic, it leaves him vulnerable to power counters and consistent volume. Lopes’ official UFC stats are skewed because of the ground strikes he absorbed in his debut; still, though, Lopes is vulnerable when he trades leather and relies on his pressure and durability to take shots as he moves forward to land his own. Lopes’ best skillset is on the mat. He is an impressive scrambler, successful wrestler, and has an arsenal of submissions that will prove dangerous for many opponents.

Like his striking, Lopes is willing to take risks on the mat to hunt the finish. Unlike on the feet, though, he is exceptionally skilled and comfortable anywhere the fight goes on the canvas and can out-scramble most of the fighters in the 145 division. His athleticism, cardio, pressure, risk taking, and overall grappling skills make the canvas a treacherous place to be when fighting Lopes.

Yusuff, thus far, despite being ranked, hasn’t really lived up to his expectations in the UFC. “Super” has all of the skills to ranked higher than the current #13 next to his name; but, when given opportunities to fight up the ladder, he’s fallen down. Against lower or unraked opponents, Yusuff’s electric boxing, hand speed, and thudding power are on full display. He seems to be able to strike with ease, without any real concern about what the opponent might do in return.

In these fights, his takedown defense has proved strong enough to keep the fight standing as he either ends the fight quickly or pieces his foe up for 15 minutes. However, when he’s faced a higher level of competition, Yusuff seems to lose what has made him so impressive. His volume and hand speed are still apparent, but his takedown defense has failed him. He was taken down twice against Arnold Allen and three more times against Barboza. Despite outlanding his opponent in both fights, Yusuff’s inability to keep the fight on the feet proved to be the reason for his losses. In a straight kickboxing match, Yusuff’s tight and quick boxing can match or surpass many ranked fighters. But, when wrestling is mixed in, he tends to lose to a certain caliber of fighter.

Betting Odds

This fight comes down to whether or not Lopes will be willing and able to wrestle. If he tries to stand and trade with Yusuff, I expect Yusuff to be a step quicker and land more often than Lopes. A 15-minute striking match would be exceptionally entertaining as these two throwing leather would likely result in fireworks, and, ultimately, I’d expect a win for “Super.”

However, if Lopes works in his wrestling, he should be able to exploit Yusuff’s kryptonite and make “Super” much more human. Look for Lopes to trade early, wrestle once later on, or if he’s clipped, and find a late finish on the mat or a decision win.

Best Bet: Lopes to win (-135 at BetUS)

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