Hatsu Hioki Passes On Title Shot, Books Ricardo Lamas For UFC on FX 4
Widely regarded as the number 2 welterweight in the world, Japanese stand-out Hatsu Hioki has made good on his word and has turned down a title fight against division king Jose Aldo.
It was in his opinion, too soon for a title shot and as such has booked Ricardo Lamas for the upcoming UFC on FX 4 card.
UFC on FX 4 is set to take place on June 22 from the Revel Center in Atlantic City, N.J. and will air live on FX.
UFC president Dana White broke the news to FoxSport.
“Many pegged Hioki as the next possible challenger for Jose Aldo’s title, but he wants one more test before going for the belt,” White said. “In his way is Lamas, who has proven to be a tough competitor for anyone to deal with, especially since moving down to featherweight and finishing both opponents at 145 pounds. Both guys have verbally agreed to the match.”
Hioki entered the UFC as the number 2 ranked featherweight in the world even before his first fight. His debut however, didn’t live up to the hype and he was barely edged out an unranked George Roop at UFC 137 to earn a split-decision victory. He followed up the less than stellar performance with a dominant victory over Bart Palaszewski in front of his hometown crowd at UFC 144. He is 11-1-1 in his last 13 fights.
Lamas went 4-2 under the WEC banner as a lightweight; however he took to his UFC in the post-WEC merger era and dropped to featherweight where he has successfully put together two straight wins over Cub Swanson and Matt Grice.