Recovered Ricardo Lamas Eyeing Summer Return, Resume Working For Title Shot
By Kelsey Mowatt
Following his award winning, “Submission of the Night” performance over Cub Swanson last November, Ricardo Lamas had plenty of momentum behind him as began preparing for his UFC 143 bout with rising featherweight Dustin Poirier. Unfortunately for Lamas, however, his plans to record another high profile victory came to an abrupt halt, when an injury forced his removal from the February 4th bout.
“It’s been really frustrating; I was really excited for that fight against Dustin and it didn’t happen,” said Lamas, who would instead witness Poirier score a first round win over Max Holloway, and advance into a May 15th bout with Chan Sung Jung. “Sitting off on the sidelines is something I really hate doing, and that’s why I think I’ve rushed it a couple of times to get back in there.”
Due to the severity of the injury, by the time Lamas returns to the Octagon, the 29 year-old-fighter will probably have gone six or seven months without fighting.
“I tore my left pectoral muscle during training and it’s kind of taken a while,” Lamas told FCF. “I tried to jump back a couple of times and I kept putting myself behind another week or two because I would tweak it again. It’s taken longer than it really should have.”
“As of right now, hopefully this might be my last week of physical therapy,” Lamas added. “I’ll notify the UFC and hopefully they’ll be able to set me up with something…It’s up to them but I’d be happy with a May or June fight, somewhere in that area.”
Now having recovered from his injury, Lamas will resume his pursuit of a third straight Octagon victory, following wins over Matt Grice and Swanson in 2011.
“I think it definitely was a confidence booster,” Lamas noted about his last performance, which saw him submit the BJJ black belt Swanson with a second round, arm-triangle-choke. “In this sport though you can’t really ride on one win for too long. It’s not about what you’ve done, it’s about what you’re going to do in your next fight…I think it did make people a little more aware of me.”
In fact, the win over Swanson was likely a determining factor when UFC officials set out to find a replacement for the injured Erik Koch, who had originally been scheduled to fight Poirier at UFC 143. In other words, one should expect Lamas to face another established featherweight when he returns.
“I don’t want to move back, I want to move forward,” said Lamas, while discussing what he hopes to achieve in his first bout of 2012. “Cub Swanson was a big win; he’s a well known name and I want to keep fighting guys like that, guys that are going to move me up the ranks.”
“I want to start headlining cards and eventually work my way into a title shot,” the experienced wrestler furthered, who is 4-1 in his last five bouts. “I’m here for the same reason as everybody else. I want to be world champion and I’m going to continue working to achieve those goals.”
Photo via Top Notch Fit