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After hectic first year in UFC, Loopy Godinez valued time away – but ready to start another frantic run

Godinez returns from six-month layoff to face Ariane Carnelossi at Saturday's UFC 274.

A little less than six months between UFC appearances for a fighter might not seem like a lot, but based on the torrid pace strawweight prospect Loopy Godinez was setting, it's basically an eternity.

After registering four fights in her first seven months with the promotion, Godinez has been sidelined since November, but she says it's hardly been idle time.

"Honestly, it's been really nice," Godinez told MMA Underground. "I've been obviously improving a lot, like focusing more on adding tools to my game, so I don't like to take time off because I love fighting so much and I want to be out there as much as I can, but at the same time, I do need time to get better."

Godinez debuted in the UFC this past April, suffering a split-decision loss to Jessica Penne. She then made headlines with an audacious effort to fight twice in the span of just eight days, picking a submission win over Silvana Gomez Juarez and then moving up to flyweight at the following weekend's event and falling short in a decision against Luana Carolina.

While she ended up taking a loss for her efforts, Godinez said she has no regrets for taking the chance.

"Absolutely not," Godinez said. "Honestly, I feel like you've got to do things and you've got to experience it, you know, because if you don't do them, you will never know what would have happened, right? So I'd rather do it.

"If I lose, I lose. If I win, I win. Obviously, I don't like losing, you know? That's for sure. But at the same time, I also don't like to miss on opportunities, right? And if I can do it – like my body can do it – I'm going to do it, and I will do it again."

Godinez did return to the cage just a month after the setback to register a win over Loma Lookboonmee, giving her four octagon visits in her first calendar year with the promotion. While she split the results, Godinez believes it was a valuable opportunity for experience.

"It shows you how much you can do and how much you can take," Godinez said. "There is a lot of people that were like, 'Oh no, that's impossible. Oh no, I wouldn't be able to do it,' or things like that. No, that's not true. You can do it. If you want to do it, you can do it. So I guess it just showed me how much I'm capable of doing, right? And yeah, way more confident in myself going out there. I can fight anytime, anywhere, anyone, right? So there you go."

Godinez (7-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC returns to action at Saturday's UFC 274, where she takes on Brazilian contender Ariane Carnelossi (14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the night's early prelims, which stream live on ESPN+ ahead of the evening's pay-per-view main card.

Carnelossi is an aggressive opponent, and Godinez says that works out just fine.

"I love the matchup," Godinez said. "She's going to come to me – which is, you know, she's making that hard work. for me, coming to me, and I'll be ready for whatever she wants to give me, you know? And I actually I like the matchup. I'm excited.

"I feel like she's going to try to overwhelm me, pin me against the cage, and maybe try to take me down. That's that's what I see, but you never know, right? So I'm ready for whatever she wants to do."

Saturday's event will mark the first time Godinez has fought in a packed arena during her UFC tenure, with her previous four appearances all taking place in the comfort of the UFC Apex. She's anxious for the opportunity to entertain a full house and show the improvements she's made during her time away from the cage.

Afterwards, she's not putting limits on what might come next – and just how soon it might happen.

"I definitely would fight every weekend," Godinez said with a laugh. "I like to keep busy, you know, and I'm young. I can do it, so why not? My body can handle it right now, so might as well just take advantage of that and just do it."

To see the full interview with Godinez, check out the video above.