Sometimes when you find out that a dude who just had one of the nastiest knockouts in recent memory is in your backyard, you need to sit down and have a few words with him. Luckily 8-1 WEC lightweight Ricardo Lamas wasn’t in my actual backyard, because I don’t have one, but in my proverbial backyard of Chicago. If he was actually in my backyard I would probably be really worried because he doesn’t have my address and frankly I didn’t invite him. It’s not that I would have a problem with Ricardo coming to my place to chill, it’s the thought of him showing up unannounced in my fictional backyard that he has somehow materialized that worries me. Luckily, he didn’t magically wave his hand and manifest a backyard for me so he could materialize in it and intimidate me. Actually “The Bully” is a super nice guy and invited us to his gym to talk about the WEC and a whole plethora of subjects including WEC in UFC Undisputed, elbows, soccer kicks and what Frank Mir dubbed “the Matrix kick” that he pulled off at WEC 39. Check out our interview with Ricardo Lamas only at Middleeasy.com – Because MMA is everything.
We just got a press release from Bendy Casimir’s mouthpiece. it’s ready to land now.Haha, that was the first time I knocked a guy out cold.
I’ve probably watched that clip 25 times and i don’t think I’ve ever seen a mouthpiece go flying like that it was like a videogame.Haha, yeah it was like the UFC videogame.
Speaking of that do you think the WEC should be in UFC Undisputed?That would be cool yeah, we’ll have to see how this first PPV goes and hopefully people watch WEC more and make it happen.
What kind of kid were you growing up?I was a terror man, I was a ball of energy bouncing off the walls until I passed out at the end of the night, I want to apologize to all my teachers growing up, it must have been hard. I was the kid that when there was a substitute I was the kid the teacher would warn the substitute about, and every time they would take roll they would call out Ricky Lamas and I would raise my hand and they would say “Oh, you’re Ricky lamas…”.
Did you always have an interest in MMA coming from a wrestling background?
Yeah I’ve always had an interest, I started watching right when UFC first came out, I think the first one I saw was UFC 3 or 4. Growing up I’ve always been interested in martial arts I was a big fan of Bruce Lee and stuff, when I was 10 years old I got into Tae Kwon Do for a couple years and then I stopped and then in high school I got into wrestling
, my brother was on the team and I would come home and he would beat me up so I joined so I could learn how to defend myself. So I started wrestling and I remember being a freshman in high school and I was getting more and more into the UFC and I would tell my friends that that’s what I was going to do one day. So it stuck with me, I continued wrestling through college and I was an all American and when I graduated I stayed on the team as a coach but there was still that competitive drive inside of me. I like coaching you know, but I wanted to be in there, I’ve known my trainer, Mac, since 2001 and he was about to open a gym, he told me whenever I wanted I could come in and work out and box. He threw me into a couple of boxing matches and kind of threw me to the wolves a bit just to see if I had it in me to fight. I lost my first 2 matches and we talked and I said I wanted to try MMA so he got me an amateur fight and we just built it from there.
And you fell in love with it from there?Yeah at first I just thought it was something I was going to do for a couple fights and just really see where it goes because there are so fighters out there and its so hard to break through onto a big show or make a name for yourself so luckily it’s worked out thus far.
How did you break into the WEC?I booked a lot of fights out of town trying to get my name out there and I had a couple of fights out in Colorado and met some people out there and I kinda just had a couple people that would be calling the WEC constantly you know bugging em and saying “Hey I got this guy hes real good”. So Sean Shelby (the matchmaker for WEC) would keep saying “Yeah he’s on my radar, maybe in the future” and then an opportunity came up where Richard Crunkilton got hurt and he was gonna fight Bart Palaszewski, it was like 5 days before the event so they were scrambling looking for someone and I didn’t even know about it. On a Tuesday my trainer called me and I was at home taking a nap and said you’re fighting on Saturday and I thought he was joking around.
And that was a hell of a fight.Yeah it was, I think I could have performed a little better but being on 5 days notice you know…
For 5 days notice you have quite the gas tank Haha, yeah i think it was all adrenaline right there.
What are your thoughts on elbows in MMA?I think its a good technique. It’s a good way to end a fight if you can cut someone open.
Did you see Torres’ head? Yeah did you see the operation he had on it? You could like see his skull that was pretty gross.
I just think that Bones Jones is going to dominate the world, not with an iron fist but with his elbows. He’s doing with his elbows what Wandy Silva did with his knees.Yeah well that’s the thing. This is MMA. It’s a combination of everything, the best and most well rounded fighters are going to stand out and if you cant defend against the elbows then you’re gonna pay the price for that.
Who is your favorite fighter right now, besides yourself?Haha, Besides myself…I like a lot of fighters. I’ve really gotten into watching Urijah Faber fight when I was coming up and first started fighting. First time I saw him I think it was on an MSNBC documentary called ‘Warrior Nation’ and they followed him around and that was before WEC was on TV and stuff. He’s the style of fighter I want to be. He came from a wrestling background but his stand up is real good and he’s real well-rounded so I really like watching him fight.
Aldo or Faber?You know I’ve been running that through my head ever since I heard about it and I mean…Aldo is just crazy and I think that Faber can match-up real well with him with his wrestling — but he’s probably going to have to clinch and put him against the cage and throw those elbows that his camp is famous for. Hopefully cut him or hurt him with those, man it’s going to be a great fight I can’t wait to see it, I don’t know.
When you are watching a fight completely objectively as a fan, what makes you root for one athlete over another?I like to root for the underdogs. I’ve been in that position a lot, a lot. So I always like seeing the guy who isn’t expected to win, win. I think that’s what makes the sport exciting anything can happen and anybody can beat anybody on any given day.
Jake Shields or Hendo?Hendo, I gotta go with the veteran. He’s really heavy handed and Jake Shields…I think if he wants to win the match, he’s got to bring it to the ground. Hendo wont let him though.
Any plans to move up or down in weight?A while back I was thinking of dropping to ’45 and I talked to Sean Shelby and gave him my thoughts but he wanted me to stay at ’55.
What weight do you walk around at?Depends man, on a fat day I can be 75 or the heavy 70s but if I stay in the gym working out I fluctuate between 65 and 70.
Coming from a wrestling background is cutting weight easy for you since you’ve done it for so long or does it suck?Nah, I think I have the advantage there because I’ve been doing it for so long, I know how to cut weight the right way and I know a lot of fighters wait to like the last day or so to drop 15-20 pounds and I hate that. I think it wears your body out so I gradually get my weight down so the cut isn’t too bad. The last 3-5 pounds kind of sucks but overall its not bad at all.
What do you think of MMA’s current scoring system? Is there something you would change?I’ve definitely seen some fights where I don’t know where they got the scores from.
What about Shogun and Machida?Yeah Shogun/Machida, Vera/Couture, so I’d like to see what the judges are looking at, I think they need to lay down a strict criteria so its objective, but the sport is still young so its evolving and hopefully we will get it down soon.
Do you have insurance?Yes! its something every fighter should have, when I first started i didn’t have any, I was working part time.
What do you want to do when fighting is over?That’s something I’ve thought about, I want to open my own gym and train my own fighters. I personal train on the side so I like working with people, maybe one day train my own fighters or work on a professional team, something in the fitness industry. Before fighting I was going to get my masters in education and coach wrestling so going back to school is always another option.
What is something you want on your Wikipedia page?I love my family, every Sunday I go and hang out with my niece and nephew and I spend the day with them so I think that’s something that should be on there.
I like your dog by the way.Yeah, hes my little mascot, man.
That’s awesome, I just got a dog, a Corgi.Ah yeah, the Queen of England has a bunch of those and her daughter has a bunch of bull terriers.
Oh really? I feel like everyone I run into now has Corgi information but I didn’t even know what a Corgi was until I got him.Yeah I think I read something about one of the pit bulls killing one of the Corgis
WEC 39, you pulled off what Frank Mir called “the Matrix kick” to Bart Palaszewski’s headI don’t know where that came from, I had his back he was on his feet and he was leaning over so I was thinking I would throw a knee up to his face but as I’m starting to throw it he started leaning back so my leg kind of extended out and I caught him in the face with my foot, it connected!
Are you ever going to try that again?We’ll see, I actually think I saw Mike Brown try to pull it off against Faber in their second fight but I dunno, I might have to patent it.
Name one camp you want to train at other than your own.Faber’s camp probably, out in Sacramento. Also, Greg Jackson is probably one of the best MMA trainers out there and anyone who wants to do big things in this sport go down to him, but I love my camps. Top Notch MMA and Overtime MMA, going to the Chicago MMA training center and I’m probably going to be making a move down to Miami and training with MMA masters, Big Nog’s BJJ training coach on TUF.
Hypothetical question: you’re cornering Frankie Edgar in Abu Dhabi, BJ Penn is across the cage probably licking blood off his gloves, what do you say?Oh man, that’s a good question, I don’t know. I would probably just be in awe of the whole situation.
Who do you want to fight?Anyone that brings me closer to the title shot, anyone they throw at me I’ll fight ’em.
That’s the safe answerYeah I don’t want to be a fighter that calls people out and starts drama.
Should women fight 5 minute rounds or 3?If they want to fight they should do it the same as everyone else.
Do you follow Womens MMA?Yeah I do, I watched Cyborg/Carano fight and shes, man…I don’t know man, shes something else.
Mental focus vs physical prowess?They go hand in hand you can be the strongest guy in the world and you may not win that fight. You’ve got to have it upstairs. You have to believe in yourself and believe in your training and just have confidence when you are out there. Mental strength goes a long way combined with physical ability.
You are 8-1 and on the cusp of greatness, who do you remind yourself of early in their career?I like to think I’m an original, but Faber once again…I’d like to emulate his style and the way he fights, maybe a young Faber.
What are your thoughts on soccer kicks? Want them back?I think they are kind of brutal, but a fights a fight.
Are they any more brutal than elbows?I don’t know, good question. You can really cause some damage kicking someone in the head when they are on their hands and knees you know? But I’ve seen elbows cause damage too. I think the way the UFC has the rules now is good for the mainstream fans so it doesn’t look too brutal seeing someone boot someone in the head while they are on the ground.
Any shout-outs?Yeah, my camps, my training partners and my family, without their support you know — one of the main reasons I do this is to see the look on my Dad and my Brother’s face when I come out of that cage with a win.