Five fighters that are in must-win scenarios at UFC Phoenix on Sunday, Feb. 17.
The UFC’s return to Phoenix, Arizona has arrived.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, the fourth UFC event of the year will act as the very first UFC event to be featured on the actual ESPN channel rather than just ESPN+. Meaning that the stage will be set to have the lights just a little bit brighter than we’re used to them being.
The pressure will be on for those competing at UFC Phoenix, but it will surely be stronger for some over others. Here are five fighters in must-win scenarios.
Benito “Golden Boy” Lopez (9-0)
Now, it may seem a little strange to start the list off with an undefeated prospect … But there are reasons.
The 24-year old “Golden Boy” Benito Lopez entered the UFC following a contract winning effort on the first season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series when he earned a split decision over Steven Peterson.
A short four months later, and Lopez had his promotional debut lined up.
In his UFC debut, Lopez would be welcomed by Albert Morales who would take him the distance but wouldn’t be able to snap Lopez’ winning streak.
After the unanimous decision victory over Morales, Lopez would look to continue his momentum heading into 2018. Unfortunately, that came to a screeching halt as he suffered a broken foot that forced him out of his big regional scene grudge match with fellow prospect Ricky Simon at UFC 227.
Lopez wouldn’t be ready to come back until now where he will take on the equally impressive 13-0 Manny Bermudez.
For Lopez, the missing of 2018 has stopped all his momentum in its tracks and MMA fans have very short memories. If he wants to remain directly on the increasingly loaded bantamweight prospect radar, he will need to take out Bermudez on Sunday night.