Former UFC featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas hopes to produce a strong bounce-back performance this weekend at Fight Night 44 in San Antonio. “The Bully” will square off against Hacran Dias in an important 145-pound matchup. Lamas dropped a unanimous decision to dominant champion Jose Aldo in his last appearance at UFC 169, while Dias is also looking to rebound after falling short against Nik Lentz in his last bout.
Lamas has designs on a future rematch against Aldo, but will need to string together multiple victories to get back into the title equation. He’s clearly capable of doing that, as the loss against the Brazilian standout snapped a four-fight win streak. Lamas earned his title opportunity after triumphs against Matt Grice, Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch.
The loss to Aldo was his first since making the move down to the featherweight ranks. The no. 3-ranked Lamas has shown explosiveness and power during his Octagon tenure, along with a strong ground-and-pound game. He’s a very physically strong competitor who has produced seven of his 13 career wins by knockout or submission.
Dias has only made two Octagon appearances producing mixed results. “Barnabe” defeated Iuri Alcantara in his UFC debut, but lost to Lentz last May by unanimous decision. That setback snapped a nine-fight win streak.
The Shooto Brazil veteran is noted for his grappling and submission skills. He’s recorded 12 of his 21 career victories by knockout or submission and has never been finished in his career. Dias has been inactive since the loss against “The Carny” as scheduled fights against Rodrigo Damm and Tatsuya Kawajiri were scuttled because of health and injury issues. He’s getting quite a stern test after the lengthy layoff.
This shapes up as intriguing matchup between two talented competitors. Lamas is a proven commodity within the featherweight landscape who is motivated to work his way back to the top. Meantime, Dias can make a major breakthrough if he is able to get past one of the division’s elite fighters.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports