WINNIPEG – Dana White appears to be sympathetic to Ricardo Lamas‘ plight of late.
The UFC president on Saturday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Lamas (13-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will be paid his show money for next month’s UFC 162 event in Las Vegas – even though he’s not likely to remain on the card.
Lamas was scheduled to fight “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC), on July 6. The winner likely was going to move into the top featherweight contender position to meet the winner of a scheduled Aug. 3 bout between champ Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis.
But a Pettis knee injury forced him out of the title fight, and that left a pair of options. And the UFC went with Jung instead of Lamas to head to UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro to challenge for the title.
When asked why the UFC went with Jung, who has not fought since May 2012 due to injury, got the shot over Lamas, who has a four-fight win streak and has beaten two fighters who at one point were offered title shots with Aldo, White’s response was simple.
“Why not?,” he asked MMAjunkie.com. “You have two guys who both could’ve gotten this fight and Ricardo, unfortunately, I know is bummed out. And I told him, ‘You’re in that place that Chuck Liddell was in at one time. You’re in that place that Carlos Condit was in at one time. And you’re in that place that Johny Hendricks has been in. You will get yours. I promise you.’”
White’s references to Liddell, Condit and Hendricks all had to do with fighters believing they were going to be next to fight for a title, but were passed up in line – forcing them to continue to wait their turn.
Most recently, Hendricks thought he was next in line to face Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title. But Nick Diaz came back from a loss and a yearlong suspension and was given a shot at him at UFC 158 in March.
White said the company is still searching for a replacement for Jung to step in on short notice and face Lamas at the card, which takes place July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But if that doesn’t happen, Lamas will be compensated for the UFC’s choice to go with Jung over him.
“I’m going to pay him his show money for July 6,” White said. “We’re still trying to get him a fight, but if we don’t, he’s going to get his show money no matter what.”
This is not the first time Lamas has been in position to be disappointed. After a first-round brutal TKO stoppage of Erik Koch in Chicago this past January at UFC on FOX 6, Lamas thought he was in line to fight the winner of Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar. He traveled to Las Vegas for UFC 156 and watched cageside, thinking he’d be next to meet Aldo.
Then he found out after the fight that Pettis had texted White and requested a move down from lightweight to featherweight to challenge the champ. And just like that, Aldo was stuck in line. With Pettis injury, he couldn’t get a change in fortune as Jung got the call instead of him.
But White said a fight between Aldo and the “Zombie” is one that fans will get behind.
“There aren’t too many that are bummed out, other than Ricardo, that ‘Zombie’ is getting the fight,” White said.
For more on UFC 162 and UFC 163, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Ricardo Lamas)