Ricardo Lamas staked his claim in the UFC featherweight division when he defeated Hatsu Hioki last June for his third consecutive UFC victory. Now, Lamas takes on Erik Koch this month at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson from Chicago.
For Lamas (12-2), the fight presents many opportunities. First, he’ll be competing in his hometown, as he was born in Chicago. Second, Lamas will get to test his skills against another top contender in Koch, who actually had a pair of title fights with Jose Aldo lined up last year before injuries cancelled both.
“It’s really just another fight to me,” said Lamas, during a recent interview with Full Contact Fighter. “I consider myself to be pretty well-rounded and I think I can get in there and hold my own with anybody no matter if they’re a striker, grappler or whatever.”
Lamas entered the UFC with the rest of the WEC fighters. He was coming off a knockout loss to Yuri Alcantara, but stopped Matt Grice via KO in his UFC debut. He followed that up with a submission victory over Cub Swanson in 2011 before topping Hioki.
The chance to compete in front of family and friends will help motivate Lamas, who said “I haven’t fought in Chicago since I signed with the WEC. I think my last fight in Chicago was back in 2008, and I’m really just excited to have another chance to come back in front of my family and friends.”