One of the best featherweight fighters in MMA over the past decade is calling it a career.
Ricardo Lamas, 38, announced Monday on MMA Junkie Radio that he is retiring from mixed martial arts after 12 years as a pro. The former UFC title challenger said after his unanimous-decision win over Bill Algeo on Aug. 29 that he was considering retirement and now he has decided on it. It’s something Lamas has said he has thought about since 2017.
“Since my fight with Jason Knight, which was [three] years back, I’ve kind of been contemplating,” Lamas told MMA Fighting. “I remember before that fight I told my wife, I was like, ‘If I have a good performance in this fight, I might just call it a career.’ But the thing with this sport is you have a good performance, and you have a win, and then you want another one. And then it becomes like an addiction and you just keep chasing those victories.”
Lamas (20-8) reached the height of his career six years ago with a shot at the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo at UFC 169 on Feb. 1, 2014. The Chicago native lost that bout by unanimous decision, but remained a top 145-pound fighter for several years after that. Lamas, 38, owns victories over the likes of Cub Swanson, Diego Sanchez and Charles Oliveira. “The Bully” was one of the talented lighter-weight fighters who came to the UFC when it absorbed WEC in 2010.
Lamas had lost three of his past five fights. In his bout before fighting Algeo, Lamas had his jaw broken by Calvin Kattar at UFC 238 on June 8, 2019. The injury, the worst of his career, was another catalyst in him deciding to retire.
When asked how he wanted to be remembered, Lamas told MMA Fighting “that I always left it in the cage.”
“Just like in this [Algeo] fight, it was a back-and-forth fight,” Lamas said. “But just never stopping, and kind of as fights progress on, I just get meaner and the dog comes out of me a little more. That’s probably due to me being the youngest of six boys and just getting beaten up to a point where I just started fighting back.”