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After Rebounding At UFC Fight Night 44, What’s Next For Former Title Challenger Ricardo Lamas?

Ricardo Lamas lands punch on Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night 44

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While it wasn’t the most spectacular performance, Ricardo Lamas showed he can still be a legitimate force in the featherweight division by defeating Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night 44. However, that victory did come at a price. “The Bully” was forced to go back to his wrestling roots after sustaining a broken thumb and was able to grind down the Brazilian to earn the unanimous decision nod.

It was Lamas’ first Octagon appearance since a failed title shot in February at UFC 169 against Jose Aldo. He improved to 14-3 with the victory and holds down the No. 4 spot in the organization’s latest rankings. Lamas still has plenty of work to do before getting back into the title conversation, but the rebound win over Dias was a strong first step. Now it’ll be interesting to see what matchmakers decide upon for his next Octagon appearance.

There are a number of strong options to consider for his next fight. No. 9 ranked contender Nik Lentz was quick to call out “The Bully” via Twitter for a potential matchup. He didn’t seem impressed by the Lamas victory in San Antonio. “The Carny” is a durable veteran who has faced strong competition and would make for a solid fight. Lamas facing the winner of next month’s Clay Guida-Dennis Bermudez clash at UFC on FOX 12 would also be an attractive option to consider.

However, the one matchup that I think would be the best fit for Lamas would be a date against Frankie Edgar. That’s incumbent on the former lightweight champion defeating B.J. Penn this weekend in the main event of the TUF 19 Finale. The No. 3 ranked Edgar is in the same boat as Lamas in looking to get back into title contention. If Edgar defeats “The Prodigy” for a third straight time, a future matchup with Lamas would be a very meaningful and attractive matchup in the 145-pound division.

“The Answer” had a previous shot at Aldo, losing to the talented Brazilian by unanimous decision at UFC 156. His frenetic pace and striking skills would be an excellent test for Lamas. It’s a fight that matchmakers should seriously consider if Edgar is able to get by Penn in Las Vegas.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.