Lucas Lopes is calling it a career — after one final trip to the cage.
Lopes started training BJJ in his native Brazil nearly 25 years ago. He’s now a third-degree black belt and the proud owner of a 39-19 professional MMA record.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but I’ve got to listen to my body. I’ve been involved in this sport for so long, and my body is tired,” says Lopes, who fought a who’s who of Brazil’s top fighters before bringing his talents to America, including a 2001 victory over future UFC superstar Thiago Alves.
“It was a tough decision to retire,” he adds. “I believe it’s very important for me to be there for my kids every single day, and you can’t do that when you’re a professional fighter.”
Lopes, 39, admits he isn’t as fast or as strong as he once was, but he’s excited to put it all on the line for a final time — in the main event of Shamrock FC 322 on Sept. 6 in St. Louis, LIVE on FITE.
“I don’t think I have anything to prove to anybody; this last fight is for my family and for those who supported me,” Lopes says. “I’d like to be remembered as a guy who always gave his best in fights and never gave up. I tried very hard to fight at a high level, and I hope I’ve inspired some people with my fighting career.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.