Ricardo Lamas will be looking to regain momentum in the jam-packed featherweight division later tonight (Sat., June 8, 2019) at UFC 238 from inside United Center in Chicago, Ill., when he takes on Calvin Kattar in the opening bout of the ESPN “Prelims.”
Lamas, who was challenging Jose Aldo for the UFC’s featherweight title not too long ago, is looking to recapture the magic that made him a perennial contender throughout the majority of his career. The 37-year-old “Chi-Town” native had fallen on tough times with consecutive losses to Josh Emmett and Mirsad Bektic before righting the ship last November with a TKO win over the ultra-durable Darren Elkins.
“That was the first time in my career coming off back-to-back losses, so it was great to just get my confidence back, get back in the groove and get back on the winning track – especially against a guy like Darren,” Lamas told MMA Junkie earlier this week. “He’s tough as nails, and to put him away was just the icing on the cake.”
Unfortunately, Lamas battled a serious blood clot in his leg both before, during, and after that victory over “Damage.” The ailment had Lamas laid up in a hospital bed wondering if he’d every get back to this point of being able to compete inside of the Octagon.
“It was definitely scary, especially not knowing what it was – and the things I was doing were not smart to do with a blood clot,” Lamas said. “… Things could’ve gotten bad. … I had numerous blood tests done, and everything came back good.
“I tend to always look on the positive side of things, but definitely thinking about my career, like will I be able to fight again? Is this going to happen if I cut weight again? That was running through my head.”
Luckily, Lamas is healthy and in position again to make a run at the featherweight title. It’s not going to be an easy trek up the 145-pound ladder, especially considering “Bully” was defeated by current champion Max Holloway just three years ago, but it’s a goal Lamas remains focused on.
“He’s a great opponent – dangerous kid, young, hungry, up-and-comer, good hands, and he’s an exciting fighter,” Lamas said. “I like to fight guys like that. I like to put on a show for the crowd, and I think that’s what we’re going to do.
“It’s always been the goal to be a world champ, to get that belt. That’s always in the back of my head, and I’d love another opportunity to do that.”
If Lamas is able to knock off Kattar tonight at UFC 238 he should be able to lock down a Top 10 matchup before year’s end.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 238 fight card tomorrow night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the ESPN+ PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
For much more on UFC 238 click here.