Ricardo Lamas came up short in his bid to dethrone Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 169 back on Feb. 1, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey.
Though "The Bully" hung tough against "Junior" for the entire five rounds of their championship fight (video), it wasn't enough it win the judges over, ultimately losing a unanimous decision.
Now that Lamas has had plenty of time to reflect on his loss, the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) star has figured out what went wrong:
He beat himself.
And it had nothing to do with ring rust after sitting out a whole year. At least, that's what he told Majority Draw Radio during a recent interview.
Check it out:
"No, not at all, I felt fine (after sitting out). The only thing is, because it was a title shot, I was being a little overly-cautious and I wish I hadn't done that. I didn't really fight like myself and it cost me the fight. I beat myself in that fight. Jose Aldo didn't beat me. But I know what I'd up be against again. I'm going to prove it against whoever I have to prove it to that I deserve another shot. I'll be back in there with him."
"What I took away from that fight is, never fight like that again. Fight like myself, play my game and do what I did that got me to the title shot. Know what I mean? I was running through people before that, and I need to get back to that. So it made me really hungry, it opened up my eyes. Sometimes you need a loss like that to better yourself as a person and as a fighter. It's only a loss if you don't learn anything from it. If you learned something from it, I consider it a victory in my eyes. So, it's only going to make me better in the end. The whole experience was great, it was awesome being co-main event on a pay-per-view card and having all the attention on you. I loved it. Now that I know what I know, there was nothing he threw at me that hurt me. I didn't feel like I was in trouble not one second in the fight. I know that he scored a lot more points or whatever, but I was in there. I was causing damage, too. When you hear the Joe Rogan play-by-play, and he says that the leg kicks I was throwing on Aldo, he says, 'Aldo is checking everyone of those kicks.' The types of kicks I throw on your leg, where I throw them, you can't check it. If you lift your leg, I'm still hitting you in the same spot where I want to hit you. The people that were there after the fight, saw Aldo limping worse than me into the hotel after the fight. I was causing damage and if I have a chance again to get in there with him, I'd do a lot more. The only thing that held me back was, there was no aura from Aldo that held me back, it was in my own head. I was being too cautious. When I get in the cage, when the cage door closes, there is no man on earth that's going to stand on the other side and intimidate me. I'm going to come forward at you the whole time, the only person that can beat is myself. And that's what happened in that fight."
Granted, Aldo didn't get one of his usual devastating finishes, and his lack of aggression even drew the ire of UFC President Dana White; but the fact of the matter is, Aldo controlled the pace of the fight with precision striking, including his trademark powerful leg kicks.
Lamas, however, did manage to win round five in the eyes of many (recap), but it was too little, too late. Nevertheless, Lamas feels he could have done more to win the bout, hence putting the blame on himself instead of giving Aldo his due.
"The Bully" hopes to earn himself another shot at Aldo and his 145-pound strap by putting together another impressive run inside the Octagon. It took him four straight victories to earn his last title shot, and he looks to begin his new one by defeating Hacran Dias when the two men collide at UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio, Texas on June 28 2014.
Should he get the chance to face Aldo again, can we expect a different outcome?