The UFC will be in Chicago this weekend for UFC on Fox 10. Saturday's fight card will be one year and one day removed from the last time the promotion held an event at the United Center. That card, UFC on Fox 6 saw Ricardo Lamas stop Erik Koch in the first fight on the Fox broadcast.
The win over the favored Koch in front of a hometown Chicago crowd was huge for Lamas. Prior to that fight, Koch had twice been set to face Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title, but injuries scuppered both of those fights. With a dominant victory over a man that was so close to fighting for the title, Lamas hoped he had positioned himself to be next in line to fight for the featherweight crown.
Alas, that was not to be as top ranked lightweight contender Anthony Pettis grabbed Lamas' coveted title shot with a timely text message to UFC president Dana White indicating that he wanted to drop to 145 pounds to face Aldo.
That fight was booked for UFC 163, the same card that had a fight between Lamas and Chan Sung Jung scheduled. As fate would have it, Pettis pulled up lame and withdrew from the fight. The UFC subsequently booked Jung to face Aldo, removing Lamas from the card entirely.
Aldo won that fight by fourth round TKO, breaking his foot in the process. That injury put the champion on the shelf for a prolonged amount of time.
Now fully healed and ready to roll, Aldo will face Lamas in the co-main event of UFC 169, which will take place on February 1 in Newark, NJ.
Lamas has waited for more than a year to face Aldo, and the No. 2 ranked featherweight does not intend to let that time be for naught. Speaking to Duane Finley, Lamas said, "Every king's reign has to come to an end. All champions have to fall. It's going to happen sooner or later, and I want to be the one to do it. This is a huge opportunity. Not a lot of people know who I am right now, but after this fight a lot of people are going to be talking about me."
Lamas has not lost since making his featherweight debut at UFC on Versus 4 in June 2011. Lamas' UFC record is 4-0, while his professional record stands at 13-2. He does have one title fight on his record, winning the ISCF lightweight title via fourth round submission in April 2008.
Aldo has defended his UFC title five times in total. Prior to be named UFC featherweight champion he defended the WEC title in that weight division twice. He captured the WEC title in November 2009, defeating Mike Brown via second round TKO. The stoppage earned him Knockout of the Night honors.
Aldo's lone defeat in 24 professional fights came in November 2005 when Luciano Azevedo stopped him in the second round with a rear naked choke. Since that loss, Aldo has won 16 straight, including 13 WEC / UFC fights.
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