Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas is on a three-fight winning streak and most recently took out Hatsu Hioki, who was the consensus No. 2 guy at 145 pounds at the time. One would think he’d be a household name by now, but that just isn’t the case, and that’s a shame.

Lamas made a great first impression in not only his UFC debut but also his featherweight debut in June of 2011. On the first MMA event ever televised on Fox, Lamas took out perennial WEC contender Cub Swanson via submission. The tapout earned Lamas “Submission of the Night” honors. To add to his great run in the UFC, Lamas then defeated the highly-regarded Hioki in dominant fashion.

With such an impressive resume in the UFC alone, Lamas should be a name coming up in the discussion about who will be fighting for a belt. Instead, he’s facing Erik Koch at UFC on Fox 6, another network television event. Koch was previously linked to a fight with featherweight champ Jose Aldo, but injuries forced him out of the contest and allowed former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to slide into that spot.

If Lamas can defeat Koch, and make no mistake about it, Lamas is more than talented enough to do it, “The Bully” should earn a title shot.

For one, Lamas would’ve strung together four wins over very credible opposition. With wins over Swanson, Hioki and Koch, Lamas has a very good case as to why he’s the most deserving of a title fight. But there are a few other contenders that could stand in the way, even if Lamas emerges victorious.

Also competing on the UFC on Fox 6 card is Clay Guida, who will be making his featherweight debut. Guida has been one of the UFC’s longest active members and has been a fan favorite for years. He may have ruined some of that good will with his performance against Gray Maynard, but fans will no doubt still gravitate towards the “human energy drink” if he comes out guns a’ blazing per his normal style.

While there is sense in making a Guida-Lamas match-up in terms of money and ratings, putting Lamas against Aldo makes sense in terms of MMA as a sport. Guida will have only gained one victory at featherweight, and unlike former lightweight champion Edgar, Guida has never held a title in the UFC.

One other name that will likely get mentioned with future title challengers is “The Korean Zombie” Chan-Sung Jung. He’s also riding a three-fight winning streak and won a contest against Dustin Poirier that many fight fans had as a finalist for “Fight of the Year” in 2012. But look at the quality of those wins compared to the wins that Lamas has posted.

The first of Jung’s victories came against Leonard Garcia, who despite being an exciting fighter is not even a gatekeeper at this point. The second came against Mark Hominick. Moving past the fact that Hominick was a shell of his former self after losing mentor Shawn Tompkins, Jung won the fight on what could easily be termed “a lucky punch.” Jung’s most recent victory came in an exciting fight, but if the Korean Zombie is to be considered a title challenger, he needs to put guys like Poirier away early.

With a victory over Koch, a guy who was originally supposed to be fighting for the featherweight title, Lamas is clearly the UFC’s go-to guy when it comes to worthy title challengers at 145 pounds. He’s not only beaten quality opposition, he’s dominated the competition.

Just as a bully dominates the school hallways, Lamas continues to dominate the UFC’s featherweight elite. But unlike those school bullies, Lamas should be rewarded for the fights he has won. And the reward should be a title shot.

Photo: Ricardo Lamas (top) (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.