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  • Writer's pictureBuctown MMA

Interview: Buctown Mexico, Nayib Lopez

Officially introducing Buctown Mexico's Head Coach, PFL Veteran, Professional Welterweight MMA Fighter, Best Welterweight in Mexico and Latin America, Nayib "Cachorro" Lopez (16-1) of Team Rocket Romero.

His story personifies will and determination, the road for Nayib Lopez has been anything but easy. Before we get to know more about him personally, read along as Nayib shares his plans for Buctown Mexico in this interview.


Please introduce yourself and share your journey with martial arts. How did it lead you to become a coach and join Buctown's mission?

Hello everyone, my name is Nayib Lopez or “Cachorro” as my friends call me. I never thought I would become a coach, but children and young people approached me and asked to show them what I've learned over the years. Coaching is where I learned many things about myself, such as patience, empathy and to be more humane and compassionate with people who do not follow the same path as you. Sometimes, we have to go back and walk hand in hand with them. It has been a great and very beautiful experience because in my students, I see myself when I started in this sport.

In your own words, how does practicing martial arts contribute to personal and community development? Can you share an instance where you've seen a significant transformation in an individual?

The practice of Martial Arts has developed things like discipline and perseverance, but I have also seen that many use it to get out of their problems. Instead of taking refuge in drugs or alcohol, they prefer to be in the gym sweating. You see them happy and proud to discover that now they can do things that they couldn't do before. I have also been able to experience that many use it to have a second chance and show that they are not disposable. Each student that I have has been a companion, a friend I can trust and vice versa. In martial arts, they have a second family.

Based on your journey, why do you believe it's essential to instill the attributes you've learned from martial arts into our youth students? How do these attributes contribute to their growth in and out of the training room?

What I have always instilled with my students has always been respect and camaraderie. I aim to provide a place where they can leave their problems outside. While inside the tatami, there is respect and that respect is always carried outside to your home and daily life. Just because you know how to defend yourself, you are not to be abusive towards people. Instead, invite them and let them see the changes they can make in that same discipline. The respect and affection you have learned in training, share it at home. Spread the values I share and help others.

Considering the current challenges in Mexico, how can martial arts act as a catalyst for positive change among affected youth?

Martial Arts can give students an opportunity, give them an option to change their life. Help them in whatever way we can while showing them that it is hard work but they can do it. Share experiences and create a community of good people that this sport can bring into your life, that you may never meet otherwise. 

Could you provide more details about the new program in Mexico? What specific disciplines will you be teaching, and what benefits come from practicing them?

In the program, what will be taught first is to encourage them to make it a habit to arrive to class on time. I will instruct what a discipline is and why it is a important. We will start with the basics of Martial Arts such as Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Wrestling. I would like to separate classes into age groups and skill development over time, offering more classes to all ages.

How do you plan to integrate Buctown's core values into your coaching and the new program?

I plan to instill the Buctown values of respect, discipline, perseverance, and camaraderie through the program. Even if the students are facing hardships in their life, they still deserve the highest level of training possible. Many times as students advance, they help the beginners with the basics, which makes sure the impact of the program spreads.



Looking at Buctown's impact in New Jersey, can you share a story of transformation that resonates with you? Have you faced a personal challenge where martial arts changed your life?

I have personally experienced much struggle to be who I am. I struggled when I did not have money to pay for my training equipment. Many times, I used the equipment or torn gloves that my training partners threw away. Little by little I was able to to invest in this sport. Thanks to not giving up in those times, today I find myself at a higher level and fighting in the big leagues. It has taught me that every sacrifice has it's reward.

What are your immediate goals for the program in Mexico, and how do they align with your vision for empowering youth?

The development of new athletes and new competitors. I believe that even if these kids or young adults have no financial ability to join classes, they should get the chance via scholarship, because I also started with nothing. These kids can be the future professional athletes and even champions of the sport, and potentially change their lives and their families lives forever. Even if they don't make it to higher levels, the values will help them in the future.

For people reading this, what would you like to say about the importance of their support for Buctown Mexico's mission?

People should know that they are working with a person who started from 0 and knows firsthand the support that many of us need in Mexico. Not just fighters, but good people facing hardships and searching for other good people in a world where it's easier to do more harm than good.



We're excited to catch Coach Nayib back in the cage in just a few weeks!

Friday April 26, Main Event LIVE on UFC Fight Pass!

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