Ricardo Lamas picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC on Fox 6 last month when he stopped Erik Koch via TKO. The win should have put him at the front of the pack for the next shot at the UFC featherweight champion (along with Chan Sung Jung, who earned a title shot in May). But after champion Jose Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 156, a new challenger magically emerged in front of them - lightweight Anthony Pettis. Lamas spoke about getting passed over on UFC Tonight, and he was understandably angry:
"I'm pretty upset about it. I'm busting my ass, I put in all this work and I'm not being rewarded. I'm just a little dumbfounded by the whole situation."
"I thought I already established I was the number one contender. If Koch would have beaten me, none of this would have happened."
Koch had been scheduled to meet Aldo for the title in 2012, but was forced out with an injury and Frankie Edgar ended up getting the title shot instead. Lamas is right though - if Koch did beat him, he would probably would have got the next shot because Pettis is his teammate and he wouldn't have asked for the bout.
There's also the time issue to consider - the Aldo vs. Pettis bout isn't scheduled for six months. So Lamas will have to fight at least once more before he could hope to get a shot. Could he fight the Korean Zombie next, in a battle of jilted featherweights? We'll have to see. But for now, Lamas has something to say to the UFC about guys dropping directly into title shots:
"If guys are dropping weight classes, they should earn their spot."