Noche UFC may go down as one of the best ideas to come from the MMA powerhouse in many years.
The card, held on Mexican Independence Day, featured a slew of fighters from Mexico, including UFC flyweight champion Alexa Grasso, who defended her belt against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event. The reception for the event was incredible, with UFC CEO Dana White reporting that Noche UFC was the most-watched fight night card ever on ESPN+.
The fighters also felt the impact. UFC strawweight Loopy Godinez admitted she was blown away by the reception she received from a raucous and loud crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.
“It was crazy,” Godinez said this past week on The MMA Hour. “Honestly, I was having a blast the whole fight week. It was amazing. I honestly was getting confused sometimes because I thought I was in Mexico. That week and that day, we were in Mexico pretty much.
“The energy through the week and the weigh-ins and with the mariachi band, it was insane. The day of the fight, we were in the back and you could feel and hear all the screams. That energy cannot [be] matched. It was just unreal.”
The success of Noche UFC already made White tout plans to hold events on Mexican Independence Day ever year moving forward, even if the date may clash with a potentially huge boxing event.
For her part, Godinez sounds ready to volunteer her services to compete on all future Noche UFC events, especially after the experience she had at the inaugural show.
In a perfect world, Godinez would love to see a Noche UFC card take place in Mexico, but after what unfolded in Las Vegas, she’s not complaining about fighting there again either.
“Of course, if it’s in Mexico, it would be even better, but Vegas worked out,” Godinez said. “I know the UFC, every year will become even better. Sign me up, I want to fight every [Mexican Independence Day].”
Godinez thrived under the bright lights at Noche UFC, scoring a second-round submission win over Elise Reed that also earned her a Performance of the Night bonus.
Before she wrapped up a rear-naked choke for the finish, Godinez had Reed locked in a nasty armbar that could’ve easily ended in a tap. Somehow, Reed resisted the submission despite her arm bending completely the wrong way as Godinez torqued on the hold.
“I was like, ‘What the hell?’” Godinez said of Reed’s submission defense. “‘My back is going to blow before her arm goes!’ I was like fully arched.
“But, you know, we’re working patience. I have a hard time with patience because I want everything right away. I learned the patience so if that doesn’t work, I know multiple other submissions that I show. I have multiple attempts for submission. I’m blown away by that because Diego Lopes is an amazing jiu-jitsu coach and we drilled that specifically. Everything that I did, we drilled it, and I feel like, ‘Wow, it was a crazy night.’”
The Noche UFC finish put Godinez on a three-fight win streak — her longest since joining the promotion back in 2021 — and she hopes to continue that climb up the ranks.
The fight also served as the first for Godinez under her new team at Lobo MMA, where she trains alongside Grasso on a daily basis.
“I just knew I had to make a big change for me to grow as a fighter and as a human and as an athlete,” Godinez said of her move. “We did it and we’re doing it, and honestly I’m so glad I made the change. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my career.”
With a new team behind her, Godinez feels confident that the sky is truly the limit now, and she definitely sees UFC gold in her future.
“I know [the UFC title] will come and I know it’s not far,” Godinez said. “All I have to do is focus and keep training and just keep getting better. I know it’s coming. I don’t know when but I can feel it. This works with energy and I feel that energy.”