Bruce Lee has served as inspiration for many a UFC fighter, but the famed martial artist has been a part of Ricardo Lamas’ life as long as he can remember.
Lamas, 37, touched on his love for the Enter the Dragon star in a chat with Bloody Elbow. “He is the reason I even got started in martial arts. Ever since I was a kid, ever since I can even remember,” the 10th ranked featherweight shared. “Some of my first memories I was already obsessed with Bruce Lee. I don’t even know how it got started, that’s how young I was.”
The peak of Lamas’ fandom came at the UFC Fighter Summit. “I had the opportunity to meet Shannon Lee, which was... [makes mind-blown sound effect]. I was kind of dumbfounded because no one else was going up to her and asking her for a picture. I was the only one. I was like, ‘oh s—t, there’s going to be a lineup I gotta get to her quick and ask for a picture.’ But I was the only one,” he reflected. “So I was like, ‘what the hell is wrong with everybody?’ That was huge for me. That was probably one of the biggest stars — that I consider — that I’ve ever met in my MMA career. I think without the influence I had from Bruce Lee I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I owe a lot of my career to him.”
Lamas recently bounced back from the first two-fight skid of his career with a late third-round TKO of Darren Elkins at UFC: Buenos Aires. That fight was paramount for Lamas to prove he still had something to offer in the deep end of 145-pounds. “It felt great, especially against a guy like Darren. He’s a really tough dude. He’s been around as a staple in the UFC for a long time. To get a finish off a tough guy like that helped put a lot of confidence back in myself,” Lamas said. “It reaffirmed that I deserve to be where I’m at in the division.”
He next fights Calvin Kattar at UFC 238 on Saturday, June 8. “I think my experience, I think my wrestling background, I think I’m a very well-rounded fighters,” Lamas said of his biggest advantages over Kattar. “I’m not going to be afraid to take this fight anywhere.”
UFC 238 is headlined by a UFC bantamweight title clash between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes. Watch the exclusive video with Lamas to hear his lukewarm reaction to John Wick 3, what it is like playing with squirrel monkeys and how UFC experience differs from general MMA experience.
Time stamps are below for the video above.
0:20 - “John Wick 3”
1:35 - Feeding squirrel monkeys
3:38 - What it feels like to break his losing streak
4:18 - UFC experience vs. MMA experience
5:17 - Quality of fighters in the UFC
6:18 - Biggest advantage over Calvin Kattar
6:39 - How it felt fighting Darren Elkins
8:20 - How Bruce Lee inspired Ricardo Lamas
10:47 - Prediction in Calvin Kattar