Former UFC featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas hinted at retirement after his last fight, but on Monday, he made it official.
In an emotional interview with MMAJunkie Radio, Lamas explained how he made a promise to his deceased brother that he would retire following his last fight if he watched over him. He felt his brother was watching out for him and he owed it to him to live up to his word and call it a career.
"(My brother) kept his promise to watch over me, so I’ve got to stick by my word, and I’m going to hang up my gloves after that performance," Lamas said.
Lamas had been slated to fight Ryan Hall on May 2, but that event was postponed because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions. The bout was rescheduled for UFC Vegas 8 on Aug. 29 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Hall, however, had to pull out because of an undisclosed injury. Lamas instead fought late replacement Bill Algeo.
It was a tough fight, but Lamas won a unanimous decision and the fighters each earned an additional $50,000 bonus when they were awarded Fight of the Night honors. But Lamas indicated that he was most likely done fighting at that point.
"Obviously, over this last year, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. My last fight I suffered my worst injury that I've had to date, fracturing my jaw in two places. I had to have surgery. Just a lot of ups and downs in the last kind of year or two with my career, and I think that can be attributed to me kind of wrestling with the idea of hanging up the gloves," Lamas said after defeating Algeo.
"I don’t know, I’m thinking like this now and I could wake up tomorrow and want to call (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby on the phone and see what he’s got next for me. We’ll see what happens."
Nine days later, Lamas decided to put a stamp on it and officially retire. Following his declaration with MMAJunkie Radio on Monday, Lamas on Tuesday posted a lengthy retirement message to his Twitter account thanking his family, friends, and various trainers, amongst others.
Lamas was born in Chicago, but his father was Cuban and his mother Mexican.
"First and foremost, I'd like to say that I am a proud American that does not take for granted the freedoms that I have known all my life thanks to the sacrifices made by my parents to give my brothers and I a better future. To my fans from Mexico and Cuba, know that I will always carry these flags with pride and represent our culture with honor and integrity."Ricardo Lamas
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