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Diego Sanchez pays tribute to former opponent Ricardo Lamas following his retirement from MMA

UFC veteran Diego Sanchez has paid tribute to former opponent Ricardo Lamas following the latter’s retirement from mixed martial arts.

After a strong featherweight career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and three years as a lightweight prior to that, the 38-year-old Lamas announced that he will be hanging up his gloves with a professional record of 20 wins and eight losses.

Sanchez was one of the opponents that faced off with Lamas when the two met in Monterrey back in 2015, with “The Bully” securing a unanimous decision victory.

“Congrats on the legendary career @RicardoLamasMMA! It was a honor to share the cage with you!! Most painful kick of my career came by your shin… crazy I ever made 145’s…your a legend! May god bless you in the next chapters of life Cubano”.

The following is a snippet from Lamas’ announcement regarding his retirement.

“If you watch me fight, you’ll know that I always carry a rosary with me to the weigh-ins and to the walkout, and I’ll give it to my corner or whatever,” Lamas told MMA Junkie Radio. “In 2009, one of my brothers passed away and he was living in Arizona at the time. So when we got the news, me, two of my brothers and my dad went out there to kind of gather his belongings, see him, kind of identify him and bring him back. … I was in this little store, kind of like a Native American store, and they had a bunch of rosaries – little wooden rosaries.

“So I picked one up, one for myself, one for each of my brothers, one for my dad, and one for my brother who had just passed away. At his wake, I had the priest bless all the rosaries, and I gave one to each of my brothers and we buried one with my brother. So that was kind of my way of bringing him with me to every fight, because he was really proud (of me).”

“After my last fight, because of my hospitalization, I was in the hospital, putting all my crap away. I misplaced the rosary,” Lamas said. “I didn’t know where it was, and I kind of forgot about it because I pretty much only bring it to fights. And I’m getting ready to leave for Miami, and because I had to go straight to Vegas from Miami, I’m getting everything ready to bring to the fight, like my flag, and I’m looking for the rosary. I’m tearing my house apart and my wife is helping me look, and I couldn’t find it anywhere and I’m like, ‘(Expletive).’

“So I just had to leave without it. And the other crazy thing is that my brother passed away on Aug. 28, 2009. The day of the weigh-ins was Aug. 28, and that night, I had made weight. So I’m on weight, I go to bed, I wake up about 3 a.m. just because I’m so thirsty, and I just start scrolling through Facebook and one of my brothers had posted a comment on my late brother’s memorial page, and I commented on it, and I just started scrolling through pictures of him and kind of talking to him in my head and saying, ‘I know I don’t need a rosary to know that you’re here with me, and please just watch over me just one more time. I just want one more win, and I’ll move on from the sport.’”

Lamas went on to confirm that he later found the rosary in his suitcase.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM