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Lupita Godinez ‘honored’ to fight Jessica Penne in octagon debut at UFC Vegas 24

Lupita Godinez has envisioned getting the UFC call for quite some time. Little did she know she wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.

Godinez (5-0) is stepping in as a short notice replacement to face Jessica Penne this Saturday at UFC Vegas 24. The strawweight bout will take place at the APEX and will be Penne’s first in nearly four years.

“Loopy” earned her opportunity after capturing the LFA strawweight title in a majority decision victory over Contender Series alum Vanessa Demopolous at October’s LFA 94. The Canadian fighter had to leave her home country the day after getting the call and headed out to Denver to train with Elevation Fight Team ahead of the bout.

The 27-year-old spoke with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck about the hectic road it has been since receiving the call to face Penne, talks feeling confident the opportunity would come after beating Demopoulos, thoughts on the matchup with Penne, having nearly her entire career—from amateur to now—take place since Penne last competed, how she plans to introduce to UFC fans, and having very little interest in the upcoming boxing match between Jake Paul and Ben Askren.