Fans in Manila, Philippines were met with disappointment after the announcement of the cancellation of UFC Fight Night 97 on October 15th. The decision was made after headliner BJ Penn was forced to pull out of the fight due to a rib injury.
The scrapping of the entire card happened just ten days before fight night, when fighters are towards the tail-end of their respective training camps. And for Penn’s would-be opponent Ricardo Lamas, the disappointment comes from both his preparations going to waste, and the purse he should have gotten.
"It sucked. I literally went through an entire camp, I was done training," Lamas told Ariel Helwani during Monday’s MMA Hour episode. "The only thing that was left was to cut the weight. I was already holding my weight pretty low, and to hear that, it stinks, especially with the holidays coming up. This is what I do to make a living."
"I want to give my family a nice Christmas this year, and to have that cancelled when you put in so much work, it's discouraging. But, I try to push it out of my head and I know UFC will make it right and everything will work out."
In an official statement released by the UFC through its website, all fighters that were part of the card will be receiving compensation for the fight’s cancellation. Lamas, however, says he has yet to receive the figures of what he would be taking home.
"They said they were going to compensate me. I don't know the number yet or whatever. They are also trying to reschedule me. Sean says he has some calls out and hopefully sometime this week I'll find out whether I'm gonna be fighting or not."
"If it were up to me, I'd be happy with my show and win money of course. I would be happy with my show money, but really, I came to fight. I put all of this work and I don't want an entire training camp to go to waste. So, I am hoping that they find an opponent for me and get me on a card very soon."
Lamas’ interview begins at the 54:28 mark of the video.