When the UFC offers a Title shot they mean business and if you want to take an alternate route it may not always pan out in your favor. We have seen many fighters decide to wait or take other fights instead of chasing UFC gold not pay off, and last week’s UFC on FX 4 bout between Hatsu Hioki and Ricardo Lames was a true shocker.
Hioki was a heavy favorite and worldwide top ranked featherweight needed little to grant him a shot at Jose Aldo. The thought of having one more fight on US soil to get used to the time difference may have set the grappler back further than he wanted once he inked in a fight with the tough Ricardo Lamas.
Round one started with two very solid takedowns and sub attempts from Hioki but the heart of Lamas kept him in the fight enough to power slam Hioki out of submission danger. This was what seemed to be the start of a long night for Lamas and an easy first round domination for Hioki.
The second round was very close but Lamas tried two deep guillotine chokes that occupied the good portion of the round. The standing exchanges also gave the slight edge to Lamas in this round but no real action besides the sub defense.
The third round set Lamas into desperation mode and his striking looked great as he started to pick Hioki apart. Hioki eventually landed a takedown but was immediately put into a submission attempt. Lamas was active off his back from bell to bell why Hioki may have thought he could ride it out in top control.
All three judges gave the fight to Lamas, further proving significant thoughts on the time difference affecting Asian fighters. But that is besides the point and when you pass on your shot at glory the next guy can step right into the mix for you. Ricardo Lamas now has three great wins under his belt and is well on his way to a possible elimination fight in the upcoming months.
Hopefully Ricardo Lamas has learned from his opponents choices and if ever offered the chance at gold he takes it.