(See, Lamas can throw stupid kicks too)
Ricardo Lamas has ample reasons to be pissed with Anthony Pettis. Not only did Pettis basically steal his knockout of the night bonus out from under him (Lamas practically cracked Koch’s skull open vs Pettis kicking Cerrone in the liver), but he also stole Lamas’ #1 contender spot:
“He stole ‘Knockout of the Night’ from me, and then he had to send that text out,” Lamas today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
“I’m kind of sitting here like, ‘What am I, a mirage?’ That’s exactly what I tweeted Dana White, actually,” Lamas said. “I’m just sitting here trying to figure out where I fit in in all of this.”
“I’ve put in the work at 145 pounds,” Lamas said. “I’ve done everything I need to do, and I should be next in line for that shot.”
Poor Lamas. It’s hard to deny he has a point. He’s won his last 4 at featherweight, including wins over Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch, the top two featherweight contenders. There’s literally no one else for him to fight that could raise him higher in the 145 pound rankings. Unfortunately, it turns out a popular top contender from the weightclass above you can still trump all that hard work.
The lesson here? You never really have a right to fight for a UFC title until you’ve signed a contract on the dotted line. Even then, better be careful in training. Things are getting more and more competitive in the UFC every day. Winning four or even five in a row doesn’t guarantee you anything any more, and the sooner fighters get used to this, the better it will be for everyone.
Making a fighter wait another fight or two for a shot shouldn’t be seen as some criminal act by the UFC. The UFC did it to Pettis at lightweight – twice! – which is why he moved to 145 and caused the same thing to happen to Lamas. It’s not like Lamas will never get his shot. He just may have to fight more to get it. Making a fighter fight? How terrible! You can argue about how fair or unfortunate that is but it is a reality of the fight game. Receiving a title shot the second you qualify for it is no longer always going to be feasible. And if you can’t keep your streak going long enough after you ‘earned’ that shot to actually cash in, maybe you never really deserved it in the first place.