On The Prelims is a column that focuses on standout performances from the undercard of a top MMA event every week.
If you’re heading to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA for a vacation, you have many choices for how you can spend your nights. Do you want to see Cirque Du Soleil? How about the Blue Man Group. There’s lots of choices – and among them recently has been Loopy Godinez, who can seemingly be seen competing nearly any weekend that major MMA promotion UFC is in town.
Godinez, a strawweight fighter, has been incredibly active as of late, fighting a record-breaking three times over the past eight weeks. It has all taken place under the roof of the UFC APEX in Vegas, making it almost like an unofficial residency for her.
Her last appearance was on Saturday’s UFC prelims, where she used her wrestling skills to stop the momentum of Muay Thai talent Loma Lookboonmee. The fight evened her promotional record to two wins and losses each, and put her back into the win column. The fight came roughly a month after her October stretch, where she at one point took a one-week turnaround to face Luana Carolina after submitting Silvara Gomez Juarez just days before.
If you want to see the Godinez show, maybe don’t book your tickets in advance. Her act rolls into town way more often than expected, but it’s still hard to predict when that exactly will happen. This is because Godinez hasn’t had her UFC run on her own terms so far.
In all four of her appearances in the promotion this year, at least one party in the fight was a short-notice opponent. Three of those times, it was her who was stepping in to fill in for someone else with just a few days to prepare and make weight.
Taking these type of fights aren’t an easy position to be in. It often puts you at a large disadvantage, as you potentially may be stepping into a fight with significantly less amounts of preparation than your opponent.
But it’s in-part what brought Godinez to the dance. The former LFA Strawweight Champion first joined the promotion due to a short-notice opportunity in April, replacing Hannah Goldy in a fight against returning 115-pound vet Jessica Penne. That fight was a loss for Godinez, but it at least kicked off her run with the promotion.
Her last fight, a win on UFC’s November 20th prelims, was first reportedly set up just nine days before. She took the fight after previously booked Cheyanne Buys had to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. Pandemic related protocols was what got her the call in her fight before then as well, as she filled in a spot that Sijara Eubanks had up at flyweight last month.
Fighting means getting paid – so not fighting of course means the opposite. That’s why it is heartbreaking for some fighters when injuries, suspensions or life problems sideline them for extended periods of time. It can be months, years, or in the worst cases, the end of someone’s career when things get in the way.
Godinez cannot be spoken for, but it might be safe to assume that she understands how important it is to take opportunities when they are available and she is healthy. After what seemed like another performance where she took little damage, who says we won’t see her again before the end of the year? As her team joked about during her fight Saturday, it can’t be next week as UFC won’t air an event. But after then, she has three more opportunities to grace the octagon in 2021.