CHICAGO – Eight years and 16 fights have passed since someone found a way to beat UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. But that knowledge doesn’t mean much to his next opponent, Ricardo Lamas.

After a long wait, Lamas (13-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) gets his chance to solve the puzzle on Saturday at UFC 169, where he and Aldo (23-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) co-headline the pay-per-view broadcast from Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center.

So how does Lamas, who discussed the bout during this weekend’s UFC on FOX 10 event in his native Chicago, mentally prepare himself?

“It’s realizing he’s a man just like anyone else,” Lamas told MMAjunkie. “He put puts pants on one leg at a time, I think. Unless he has some mutant powers that I’m not aware of, whenever you step in there with another man, it’s an even match. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day.”

Lamas, who’s won seven of his past eight bouts during his current UFC/WEC run, will fight for the first time in 13 months. It’s been a rocky road to the title shot following reschedulings, a division shakeup and a canceled bout. But Lamas, whose defeated the likes of Cub Swanon and Erik Koch during his current run, knows the primary reason he may have been overlooked.

“I think because I wasn’t that well known of a fighter,” he said. “I didn’t talk a lot in the media. I’m not a loudmouth or anything like that. So I think that hindered my chances of getting a title fight.”

But now that he’s got it, he’s confident he can dethrone the long-reigning champ. Check out the above video for his thoughts on the matchup.

For the latest on UFC 169, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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