UFC 300 results, highlights: Diego Lopes smashes Sodiq Yusuff for quick knockout in statement win

Give Diego Lopes a large platform and the all-action featherweight prospect will continue to shine. 

The thrilling 29-year-old from Brazil used the platform of UFC 300 on Saturday to make his case as a future 145-pound title contender by efficiently finishing No. 13-ranked Sodiq Yusuff in just 89 seconds of the opening round. 

Lopes (24-6) improved to 3-1 since losing his UFC debut last May and recorded his third straight dominant finish to record the 15th first-round stoppage of 30-bout pro career. 

Just how impressive was Lopes’ dismantling of Yusuff (13-4)? Both Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier couldn’t help but speak over each other during the live broadcast as both proclaimed, “This kid is the real deal!”

Lopes celebrated the breakthrough victory by asking permission to hurdle the Octagon wall before celebrating with UFC CEO Dana White, while Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg stood next to him, as Lopes likely pitched his case for the special $300,000  performance bonuses on the line for this historic card. 

“I knew this would be a very important fight for me and I knew Sodiq Yusuff would be a very difficult fighter,” Lopes said. “I have the best coaches in the world and I knew the result could not be any different.

“I’m going to be the next champion of this division, Things are setting up the way that I want. This is another one. I know my next step and I’m going to be a champion at the end of the day.”

Lopes targeted the calves of Yusuff with hard kicks off the opening bell. He followed up with a three-punch combination that dropped Yusuff thanks to a clean left hook. 

After the two fighters briefly worked their way back to their feet, Lopes unleashed a pair of right uppercuts that connected to the stomach and chin of Yusuff to drop him hard. Lopes followed up with ground-and-pound to force the early stoppage. 

Not only should Lopes expect to be ranked in the top 15 after this performance, he called out the two names most on his radar moving forward: Movsar Evloev, who outpointed Lopes in his UFC debut, and newly crowned featherweight champion Ilia Topuria. 

“Movsar, let’s do it in Span, and Ilia Topuria,” Lopes said. “I’m ready.” 

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