Lopez falls in second-round TKO

Matt Lopez looked to raise his arms in victory in Glendale but instead lost for the second time in a row.

By Jon Johnson


GLENDALE – Safford native Matthew Lopez came up short in his homecoming comeback attempt on the preliminary card at UFC on Fox 29 at the Gila River Arena on Saturday, falling to Alejandro Perez by TKO in the second round.

Lopez (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) came out strong in the first round, slugging it out with Perez (20-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC) and then scoring a rear-naked choke on the ground.

Lopez then just missed on a guillotine choke but still finished the round in the lead.

In the second round, Perez started to land several kicks and some big hits that appeared to leave Lopez weary.

Perez then went in for the finish, pummeling Lopez with punches to the head and body coupled with some knee strikes that was enough to call the fight by technical knockout at 3:42 in the second, even though Lopez was still on his feet with his face showing his disapproval of the fight stoppage.

Lopez has now suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.

Safford native Justin Gaethje looks to fare better in the main event later tonight.