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How Impressive Is Tony Lopez's 16-Fight Win Streak?

As Tony Lopez defeated Tyler East Friday night at King of the Cage: Vengeance, HDNet announcer Michael Schiavello made an interesting point.

"A 15-fight win streak at the moment makes him the fourth-longest winning streak of any active mixed martial arts fighter in the world. Fedor Emelianenko is first, Megumi Fuji, the female fighter in Japan is second. Lyoto Machida, UFC light heavyweight champion, is third. And then it's King of the Cage's own Tony 'Kryptonite' Lopez."

After Lopez won, Schiavello said, "Tony Lopez takes his streak to 16 fights, equaling third place with Lyoto Machida."

Official records don't really exist in MMA, but from a quick check of the Sherdog fight finder, that appears to be correct: Lopez has won 16 fights in a row, equal to Machida (who's 16-0) and behind only Fuji (19-0) and Emelianenko (27 straight wins).

Fedor and Machida are arguably the two best male fighters in the world, and Fuji is arguably the best female fighter. Obviously, no one is putting Lopez in that company. But how impressive is Lopez's 16-fight winning streak?

I think it's pretty impressive.

His opponents haven't been good, but they haven't been that bad. Lopez doesn't fight world class opposition, of course, but he doesn't just fight bums either: None of his opponents have had losing records, and the combined record of all the guys Lopez has fought on his current streak is 120-64. Two of his wins during the current 16-fight streak are against Joey Beltran, who just won his UFC debut at UFC 109. If Beltran is worthy of a shot in the Octagon, Lopez surely is, too.

I also like Lopez's fighting style. He looks to finish, and only three of those 16 wins have gone to decision. Lopez has shown a lot of ways to finish fights: He's knocked guys out with punches and with head kicks, and he's submitted guys with triangles, rear-naked chokes and kimuras.

And I like the fact that Lopez just keeps on fighting: Since devoting himself full-time to MMA in October of 2007 he's fought 17 times, generally fighting every other month or so.

The 36-year-old Lopez is never going to be a Top 10 heavyweight, but there's something to be said for a guy who fights seven times a year and just keeps winning.Kudos to you, Tony Lopez.