The fact that women give birth should establish their otherworldly toughness without further explanation, but the world of sports is also a beautiful landscape to show that when push comes to shove, the fairer sex may have a something little extra in the tank when it comes to digging deep and being willing to go that extra mile to prove something.
Take Loopy Godinez, for example.
The Mexican strawweight was less than a month removed from a three-round battle with Jessica Penne in April when she found out that Sarah Alpar lost her opponent for a May 22 bout in Las Vegas. Godinez immediately offered to take the fight…at bantamweight.
“The first thing was like, perfect, I don't have to cut weight, I get to enjoy the whole process, and just show up and fight, pretty much,” Godinez said. “That's always fun.”
Fun? Less than a week’s notice and giving up 20 pounds to her opponent?
“I'm a fighter and we're supposed to fight,” she said. “I don't have any issues with that. I'm always training with bigger people, so I'm like, okay, I'll be fine.”
The fight ultimately didn’t happen, but the fact that Godinez was willing to take it speaks volumes. So, about that whole women being tougher thing…
“I agree with that a hundred percent,” she laughs. “Men are tough and all that, but women, we are pretty tough. If you're in a relationship and the woman is sick, the woman will still take care of the kids, cook, make your lunch, make your breakfast, make your dinner. But when the man is sick, he needs all the attention on him, he cannot get out of bed.”
Godinez isn’t lying, and while she didn’t get to bounce back from her UFC debut loss to Penne as quick as she wanted to, she did get a full camp and a fight this Saturday against a familiar face in Sam Hughes, who she went 1-0-1 against as an amateur. And with the luxury of a complete training camp, the Vancouver, BC, Canada resident took advantage by going to train for a bit in Mexico.
“I always wanted to go over there and train and I just didn't have the opportunity,” Godinez, a native of Aguascalientes, said. “And it came up that I could go, so I just took the plane and left, pretty much. I wanted to go back because I missed Mexico and I like to go there. I wanted to train with Alexa Grasso and Team Lobo, which was amazing, and all the people were tough. It was that Mexican mentality and style - coming forward - and I learned a lot when I was there.”
Now it’s time to get the memory of that “1” in her loss column out of her system, a split decision defeat that 11 of 17 media members polled thought that Godinez won. And this is in addition to plenty of adversity that took place even before the Octagon door shut.
Like the call for the Alpar bout, this was another one on short notice after Hannah Goldy was forced from the matchup. At the time, Godinez was just coming off a bout with COVID-19 and had to cut 25 pounds to make the strawweight limit. None of these things were issues in her mind.
“Obviously, I'm not gonna say no, so I took it,” said Godinez, who then flew to Denver to get some training in and take care of her visa before flying to Las Vegas for the fight.
“Honestly, I wasn't a hundred percent,” she admits. “I cut a lot of weight, and I was still coming off COVID. So there were a lot of negative things in my way, and even with all of that, people thought I won, and people who don't know me were like, she did great. People that knew me knew I was not right. I wasn't happy with that, but at the same time, I did it with all those bad scenarios that I had, so I'm proud of myself for showing up and doing my best.”
Needless to say, Godinez moved on, and on Saturday, the popular 115-pounder feels like she’s going to show UFC fans the real Loopy.
“I belong in the UFC and it's gonna show on October 9th,” she said. “I actually got to train properly, I got a full camp in, my weight is great, I feel strong, so I'm real excited for this one. For me, this is like my first UFC fight just because I'm enjoying the process and on fight week I'm going to be taking in and enjoying every single moment. It could be my first fight that I actually enjoy in there, because the last fight, it was a lot of stress for me.”
So she learned not to take short-notice fights after just recovering from COVID-19, right?
“Honestly, I would do it again,” Godinez chuckles. “Losing a fight sucks, but I'd rather die trying than never try.”