Tony Lopez defends his heavyweight title against DJ Linderman at BYB 13: Tampa Brawl on November 19th.
Lopez appeared once again on Bowks Talking Bouts and covered several subjects during our chat. Excerpts from our conversation are below.
Lopez’s past history with Linderman and the thoughts on running it back with him in bare knuckle
“Well, I had fought him before in MMA. It was a quick fight but I ended it with my legs; with a leg kick. But I know he’s got some decent hands. The first time we fought, that’s when he was tagging me with his hands. I was like oh, I didn’t like that. So you know my whole thing is he’s got some speed on those hands…Was just thinking ok, I’ve got to prep for someone with heavy hands.”
“I’ve got to make sure I can try to control that. So my training camp has been revolved around that… Practicing a lot of moving for someone that’s a lot quicker. So I myself, I’ve been training with smaller guys. Because those smaller guys are a lot faster than heavyweights.”
Being the inaugural BYB heavyweight champion and now readying to make his first title defense
“Well yes, for the most part, yes. But in the back of my head it’s still you know it’s like yeah, I’m the first heavyweight champ. I want to make sure I defend my title. I don’t want to just be a one-hit wonder (laughs). Give me the belt and be on. So you know I definitely want to make sure I retain my title. But it is business as usual but in the back of my head it’s still you know there is that little bit of the first one.”
“First title defense, I’ve got to make everything count for myself. Just to be able to say I’ve done it. You win the title, that’s great. But the accomplishment comes when you defend the title. So that’s what I’m looking at. At least give me a good handful of defenses and then I’ll be able to you know what, I’ve done my job. If it’s time for me to go, if someone better comes along, well hey. As long as I got two or three title defenses under my belt, I’m comfortable with that.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.