The odds would seem to be stacked against Whippany, New Jersey, MMA fighter Jen Lopez (4-1) in her next fight.
Not only will she be going for her first MMA title in her first career main event, but she will also be facing the only woman to ever defeat her, Maryland’s Roya Darvishian (5-2).
Lopez and Darvishian will rematch for the EFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship in the main event of The Darwish Brothers Presents: EFC WARRIOR, this Saturday (August 24) in the Grand Ballroom at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.
Tickets for EFC WARRIOR are priced at: $125, $100, $67 and $46 and are on sale now by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com, at the EFC website: www.efcmma.com, or at the Trump Taj Mahal box office on fight night.
“It’s a little added pressure,” admitted Lopez. “Our last fight was a split decision; it was close and I’ve corrected my mistakes this time. This time I’m fighting as if my life depended on it. Last time, it wasn’t that I didn’t give it my all, but this time, I’m going in smarter than last time and I’m going in with all my heart.”
Lopez, a striker at heart with good all-around skills, says she’s excited to be back in the cage with an opponent as formidable as Darvishian.
“She’s a go-getter, very aggressive. I respect her. There are not a lot of female fighters with good technique, but she’s one of the few. And a lot of females aren’t good wrestlers, but she’s good. I look forward to this fight because I am happy to be fighting a female fighter who can really fight. She’ll be tough. Beating her will be enjoyable because it won’t come easy. People will respect this win even more.
A testament to the strength of willpower, 23-year-old Lopez is a personal trainer during the day and a bartender at night, yet still finds time to train two or three times a day at MMA Fight Club in Whippany and AllStar Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Kenilworth.
“I get home at four in the morning to wake up at six or seven to go training. I have a female teammate at AllStar. Working with guys is not the same feel. The guys I work out with bust my ass and push me, but it’s not the same as fighting a female close to your weight and strength, who can give you that actual feel of getting in the cage.”
Healthy, in perfect shape and ready for her biggest career fight to date, Jen Lopez says she’s enjoying her first stint as a main event fighter.
“This is the first time everyone is taking about one of my fights and asking me for interviews. It’s definitely a new experience for me. I’m getting experience in how to do interviews and it’s preparing me for the future for when I do turn pro, getting me used to it. I love it.”
Event co-promoter Hani Darwish says he’s expecting an even better performance from both ladies. “These women are both tremendous talents and both know what’s at stake. Jen Lopez knows what she did wrong in the first fight and will be coming full force to avenge her only loss. I expect their second fight to be another classic.”
EFC WARRIOR will host two more title fights, as Gabriel Ruiz (3-2) of the EFC Fight Club in Woodland Park, NJ will face Jovany Alvarez (4-2) from Modern Martial Arts in Englishtown, NJ, for the EFC Featherweight Championship; and the always exciting Barat Jan (3-0) of Eagle Martial Arts in Boonton, NJ, will take on Victor Romero (3-3) of Modern Martial Arts in Englishtown, NJ, for the EFC Middleweight Championship.
Ticket buyers to the Saturday, August 24, “EFC WARRIOR” event in the Grand Ballroom at Trump Taj Mahal can bring their ticket to the promo booth, sign up for a Trump card, and will then receive $10 free bonus slot dollars on to the card, which can be used at any slot machine at the Taj on fight night.