Lupita Godinez wasn’t even initially aware of the records she recently broke, and will break this Saturday when she returns to the octagon for the fourth time in 2021.
“Loopy” will look to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss to Luana Carolina up a weight class — her second fight in a record-breaking seven-day span — when she faces Loma Lookboonmee at UFC Vegas 43. Godinez steps in for Cheyanne Buys, who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.
Godinez will break another modern record when she competes in her third UFC fight in 42 days against Lookboonmee. While many expected her to take the rest of the year off, when the opportunity came, there was no hesitation at all.
“I just love this so much,” Godinez told MMA Fighting while appearing on We Got Next. “If I can fight every weekend, I’ll do it — and I actually mean it.
“[There was no hesitation] at all. After my last fight with Luana, I went to Georgia, I was there, then went back home to Vancouver for two weeks, then I went to Mexico. I was in Mexico for about three days, woke up the next morning to see a text — and I was gonna stay in Mexico for a full month straight — my management said, ‘Hey, do you want a fight?’ I was like, ‘Okay, give me one second. Let me talk to my team, I’m down, but everyone has to be on the same page.’ But I know my team so well, they’re [down for] whatever and said if I wanted to do it, let’s do it. A couple of days later, I’m in Vegas.”
The 28-year-old made her octagon debut on short notice, dropping a split decision to longtime veteran Jessica Penne at April’s UFC Vegas 24. The former LFA strawweight champ returned in October, submitting Silvana Gomez Juarez in the first round before her incredible turnaround.
If it were up to Godinez, win or lose, she will get her fifth fight of the year in before the calendar changes to 2022.
“I’m open,” Godinez said. “If i’m healthy, that’s all that matters because everything going on in my life is really good. So if my body is healthy, I will do it.
“These are opportunities you can not let go. You just take them and, let’s say it doesn’t go your way or whatever, then you learn there and you get better, and go right back to it. You don’t lose from this. I’m doing what I love, this is my job. I’m healthy, I’m happy, so why not?
“Of course, my goal is to be the champion [one day]. I’ll get there. But if you think about it, my career is really short. I’ve been training for six years total. Six years. And I’ve been pro for three and a half — plus I broke my hand and was out for a year and I’m gonna make up for all that time. I’m just gaining experience now before I start fighting in the top-10, top-five, and then eventually fight for the belt. I think it’s great to do it now, in a big organization. I think I’m doing the right thing, I’m enjoying myself.”
Godinez faces Lookboonmee, who will look to extend her winning streak to three. After defeating Aleksandra Albu in her debut at UFC on ESPN+ 20, she faced perennial contender Angela Hill in her sophomore outing, losing a competitive unanimous decision. Since then, the 25-year-old Tiger Muai Thai standout has earned back-to-back decision wins over Jinh Yu Frey and Sam Hughes.
While Godinez didn’t necessarily have Lookboonmee on her radar, she likes the matchup and plans to put on a show this Saturday.
“I never see things like, maybe this [fighter] is next, this one is after. Whoever they give me, I’m just gonna take it,” Godinez explained. “But I’m happy I’m fighting her. She’s an amazing fighter, I like her style, and it’s gonna be a really good matchup for me.
“I think it’s gonna be a fun fight, so stay tuned.”