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Friday, 07/19/2013, 02:54 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Ricardo Lamas Discusses His Unfortunate Title Contention Situation | Late Night Cage Side Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

UFC featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas recently joined our boys Chase Raymond and Kinch on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio and talked all the MMA news surrounding his career. Lamas, who is one of the top contenders in the UFC featherweight division, was scheduled to fight the Korean Zombie at UFC 162 but was removed from the card when KZ was promoted to the title fight with Jose Aldo at UFC 163. Lamas, who many people feel is well deserving of a title shot, spilled his thoughts on the situation with the fans at BJPenn.com and also touched on some of the other intriguing news circulating through the MMA world. Here are some of the highlights of interview with Ricardo Lamas on Late Night Cage Side Radio:

Lamas, who has won four fights in a row, was first asked how his training and everything was going since he was removed from his upcoming fight with Korean Zombie. He replied, “Just been training in the gym every day, trying to get better, man. That’s it.”

Lamas also shared his opinion on KZ getting the title shot over himself and why he felt he was more deserving of the fight with Aldo. He explained, “Just for the simple fact that he’s been out for a year, you know what I mean? He hasn’t fought. I know he had some nice wins before he got injured but really the only guy I think the only guy that was ranked that he beat was Poirier. The last two guys I beat were supposed to fight for the title. That say it in itself right there.”

Ricardo Lamas has seen the title shot passed over him several times and he was asked how he handled the latest situation and what he discussed with the UFC. He stated, “We basically asked them if we could get the winner of Aldo and the Korean Zombie and they said that’s a possibility but they didn’t want to guarantee it to us so we thought we’d wait it and see if that went through.”

In the meantime, he explained, “I was staying in shape, ready just in case, because you never know what could happen. The Korean Zombie could have gotten injured and they could have been scrambling to find someone else, so you have to stay ready for that. And just to keep my sanity, man. I got to be in there in the gym working out all the time and just getting better. I can’t just be sitting on my butt at home doing nothing, so I have to be in the gym.”

When asked how angry or upset it was making him that he has rightfully earned the title shot but has been passed over more than once, he explained, “It gets frustrating. Mainly, for me, because this is the third time they’ve kind of passed me up for a title shot that I think I’’ve been deserving of. Last October they actually offered it to me and I accepted it and they redid my contract and everything and then three hours later they called me back and said they were going in a different direction and that’s when they gave it to Frankie Edgar. And then that’s when they set me up to fight Koch. That was the first time. The second time was after I fought Koch. He was the former number one contender, he was set to fight Jose Aldo. I beat him, in pretty good fashion, you know, I ended the fight, I figured I was next in line and then the whole Pettis thing happened.”

“If Koch would have beaten me none of that would have happened, Koch would have been fighting Aldo,” he continued. “Now, when they pulled Korean Zombie off and gave him the fight instead of me,  that was the third time. I’m starting to feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of MMA; I never get no respect.”

Lamas then talked about what he needs to do differently to try and get himself the title shot, considering four consecutive wins over top-tier opponents hasn’t been enough. Lamas stated, “I think it’s really important to get my story out to the fans, you know what I mean? As of late a lot of people have been behind me, supporting me on all the social media networks, saying that I deserve the next title shot, and I just need to keep telling my story and having more people hear it and get more people behind me because ultimately if the fans are behind you you’ll get what you want.”

That’s usually how it works and Lamas is surely getting his story out there and more and more fans are starting to realize that he is more than deserving of his crack at the title. But, not everything in life works out the way it should and when asked if Lamas could take anything positive out of this situation he responded, “The best positive that could come out of it is if they give me the winner of Jose Aldo and Korean Zombie. If that happens this will just be like a real long training camp for a title fight, you know what I mean? I’m just going to use the time to improve and get better at the things I need to get better at.”

When asked who he would rather face, Aldo or Korean Zombie, Lamas sternly stated, “I don’t really care who wins.”

Lamas is convinced that he is that most deserving contender in the UFC featherweight division and he continued pleading his case as he explained, “I think I deserve the title shot. I think I proved it when I beat Hatsu Hioki. He was gonna get the title shot, and the Erik Koch who was lined up for the title shot, I beat and stopped, you know what I mean? I’m kind of at the point right now where I think I deserve this title shot. If they don’t give it to me put the person in front of me that’s going to get it for me, you know what I mean? I don’t care who it is. I don’t need to guess, I need them to tell me, ‘you will get the title shot if you beat this guy, guaranteed’. That’s something they haven’t told me yet and they need to tell me that.”

Lamas was also asked if he only wanted a number one contender or a title fight in his next fight and he confirmed.

“If I do anything else I’m kind of wasting my time,” he said. “I’m really gunning for this title shot. I think I’ve earned it.”

“If they tell me I’m next in line, I’d wait. If they don’t then, yeah, I’d definitely take another fight. I’m not just going to sit around and do nothing.”

The conversation then shifted to the background of Lamas and how his wrestling has shaped him as a fighter. He humbly admitted, “Wrestling in college and having the coaching I had in college got me to where I am right now.”

Lamas has showcased those skills in both the WEC and UFC. But everyone knows that you can only fight for so long. When asked if he had any plans slated out when his fighting career came to a close he stated, “Eventually, when I start getting a little closer to the end of my career, I want to open my own gym. You know, make a name for myself now while I can and then use that name with my gym to help me out in the long-run.”

Ricardo Lamas was then asked to comment on the most shocking recent news in the MMA and that’s the UFC 162 aftermath.

 “I thought it was great, man. Who doesn’t like an upset like that? It was awesome. And I think Anderson Silva is going to learn from this. I don’t think we’re gonna see him do that crap anymore,” Lamas said. “In the rematch I think we’re going to see a furious Anderson Silva and I don’t know how this one is going to end up.”

Kinch also wanted to get Lamas’ take on the popular topic in MMA as of late, TRT. Many fighters have resorted to using TRT to help them stay at the top heap of the competition but Lamas doesn’t really agree with its use in MMA.

“I personally don’t believe in any of that stuff. I actually try to stay as natural as I can,” Lamas explained. “I like to see how in shape I can get my body naturally and the limits that I can push my body to naturally.”

Ricardo was then asked to go back to the topic of his deserved UFC title shot and Lamas wasn’t opposed to talking more about it.

“I want this title shot now. This is what I deserve. I’ve already kicked all these guys’ asses,” he stated. “I think it’s time now for me to step up and fight the number one guy.”

One of the men that could be standing in his way of the title shot is the surging Cub Swanson, who Lamas has already defeated in the UFC. When asked if Lamas would be up for a rematch with Swanson to see who gets the next title shot he replied, “As far as Cub Swanson, I’ll give him his rematch when I win that belt. He’ll be the first guy I defend it against.”

We definitely agree with Ricardo Lamas and feel that he is indeed overly deserving of the title UFC featherweight title shot. We wish him all the best in his quest for the UFC strap and we thank him for taking the time to talk MMA with BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio.

To listen to the entire interview with Ricardo Lamas on Late Night Cage Side Radio click here.

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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