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Henry Cejudo unsure Diego Lopes ready for Brian Ortega after UFC 303

Henry Cejudo has his doubts on Diego Lopes after UFC 303.

Lopes (25-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) was scheduled to face Brian Ortega in a lightweight bout in this past Saturday’s co-main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but Ortega fell ill on the night of the fight. Dan Ige stepped in on four hours’ notice to face Lopes, who won the fight by unanimous decision.

Lopes won the first two rounds, but Ige (18-8 MMA, 10-7 UFC) was able to rally in Round 3. Lopes called for his fight against Ortega to be rebooked for UFC 306, but after watching his performance against Ige, Cejudo would rather see Lopes slowly climb up the ranks.

“I’m not too sure if Diego Lopes would really be ready for a guy like Brian Ortega,” Cejudo said on his “Pound 4 Pound” podcast with Kamaru Usman. “Was I impressed? A little bit, but the more film that they now have and the more you’re able to watch him fight other top contenders, the guys that have been ranked in the top 15, top 10 …

“I think Diego Lopes needs to slow down and continue to keep taking a lot of these other fighters in order for him to really catch a guy in the top 10, or even top  5. We have to remember, too, Brian Ortega is No. 3. I think he’s still growing, in that sense. Continue to keep fighting guys that are at his level to eventually then go after a dude like a Brian Ortega.”

Lopes had a lot to deal with on fight week. He first agreed for his fight with Ortega (16-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) to shift from featherweight to lightweight, to then accepting a completely different style opponent on just hours’ notice at 165 pounds.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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