Tony Lopez - King of the CageEnding a year with a loss is never something anyone wants to do, but it’s even more so disappointing when that loss comes in controversial fashion.

Such is the case when Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez lost to Trevor “South African Hammer” Prangley on Dec. 20 of last year at KOTC: Vigilante via technical decision. The “technical” part of the decision came when Prangley could not continue after Lopez landed an illegal knee in the fourth round of their light-heavyweight title fight.

“I had him up against the cage and pulled him down and went to throw a knee to the body, and he started coming up, so I figured I’d let him get up so I could land the knee to his head and finish him off, but I mistimed it,” Lopez explained to MMAWeekly.com. “His knee was still on the ground and I skinned him enough to where they stopped it and it went to a decision.”

Prangley took the decision, but Lopez feels the fight should have gone his way.

“I know I won the first round and the fourth round was all me, but the second and third, he did take me down and was on top most of the time, but from the bottom I felt like I was doing more damage to him than he was doing to me,” Lopez recounted. “It felt like he was just hanging on to me from the top position and just weather the storm rather than better his position and try to strike with me.”

When asked if he’s moved past the fight, Lopez responded to MMAWeekly.com with a chuckle, “Not really.

“I try, but it burns at me to this day. Why did I throw that knee? I’ve never thrown a knee like that in any of the fights I’ve had. I’d been working on being more aggressive and I think that’s where it came into play. I’m looking forward to a rematch sometime this year.”

Before he can get a possible rematch with Prangley, Lopez must first turn his attention to Thursday night, when he’ll defend his KOTC heavyweight title in a rematch against Nick Rossborough on MAV TV from the San Manuel Casino & Resort in Highland, Calif.

“The last time I fought him, it was a close fight and could have gone either way, but I came out with the win,” said Lopez. “It was three rounds with no title on the line, this time it’s five rounds with my title on the line, so I want to make sure there’s no decision this time.

“With my game plan, it’s going to be a different fight. It’s about more defense on my part and take less damage, and at the same time, be more aggressive and commit my punches and kicks and put him into a world of hurt so he doesn’t want to keep coming.”

As for the remainder of 2013, Lopez wants to continue to sharpen himself, even though at 39 years of age he knows the end is not too far off for his career.

“This year I’ve got to be better than I was before,” he said. “Last year I had a couple losses, and while I had a couple wins, I went to decisions a couple times and I’ve got to fix all that.

“Now I’m near the end of my career, so I’ve got to go out with a bang, go out looking good like the way I should have been looking these past couple years. That’s my New Year’s resolution.”

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