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Loopy Godinez on historic UFC run: ‘I’m pretty crazy’

UFC strawweight Loopy Godinez didn’t set out to break the activity record for the MMA promotion, but she’s not too surprised it happened.

“Yeah, because I’m pretty crazy,” she said Monday on The MMA Hour.

The MMA world now knows about Godinez and her claim to octagon fame in doing 3 fights within 42 days (How could it not? She’s been on three fight cards in the past two months). Leaping feet-first into new challenges, however, is nothing new to the 28-year-old.

Born in Mexico and raised in Vancouver from age 14, Godinez took inspiration from her father, who lied to his daughters when he told them the family was going on a family trip to Disneyland. They weren’t, and Godinez figured out before she left the airport that something else was going on.

Her father, Carlos, reportedly found a lot full of bullet-riddled cars and shattered windows at the dealership where he worked as a salesman, according to The Province. Voices he believed to be members of a Mexican drug cartel also rattled off the names of his daughters and their schools in a phone call. He didn’t – or couldn’t – pay the protection money they demanded, so he fled the country with his wife and three daughters to start a new life in Canada.

Lupita, as she was then called, remembers being cast into an entirely new world, kicked from a comfortable middle-class lifestyle to living in a hotel and working as a cleaning lady.

When she decided to fight, she took inspiration from Carlos, who taught himself an entirely new profession and supported the family. A judo aficionado, she wanted to follow in the footsteps of Ronda Rousey. Like her father, she would get knocked down a few times on her path. Her coaches “thought I would never fight, because I was really bad.” But she would stay the course because of the example that had been set.

“When we were in Mexico, we never had to go through anything like that,” she said. “It was a completely different life. You would never imagine being here you end up down here and you have to go up again. It’s not an easy thing to do. I have a lot of respect for my mom and dad that they did it with four kids.”

Just days removed from her second octagon win, a decision over Loma Lookboonmee at UFC Vegas 43, she is struggling to process everything happening so fast and grateful to be where she is.

“I‘m not doing all this to get records, it’s just that I love fighting so much and it’s just happening,” she said. “It’s like the cherry on top.”

Carlos tells her she’s just like him, because when they set their minds to something, they do it. The same goes for Godinez’s sisters, Karla and Ana, who could be on their way to wrestling for the Canadian Olympic team after taking up the sport on the recommendation of their sister.

“She’s been crazy her whole life,” Ana Godinez Gonzalez told The Province. “I don’t know why she’s crazy. I mean, I still don’t get her. Especially for her fights — she starts acting a little crazy. I know she’s savage. And if she’s clearly winning or something, I’m honestly scared for the other person. I’ve watched her be a savage towards other girls. I know they’re pretty tough, but it’s just scary to watch that one of them might get hurt.”

Loopy Godinez is ready to extend her record-breaking run if the UFC calls her on short notice. The opportunities she’s earned haven’t always gone her way, but she’s never stopped fighting her way back. She would take another three fights in short order if she could.

“I’m glad I did it, and I would do it again,” she said.