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Chicago’s Ricardo Lamas Ponders UFC Retirement After Overcoming Bill Algeo

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SOURCE: Photo, East718, CC BY 2.0

SPECIAL TO CHICAGO’S MMA

One of Chicago’s most successful ever UFC fighters is considering retiring from MMA altogether following his three-round victory over Bill Algeo at UFC Vegas 8. Algeo, who was a replacement at short notice, put up stiff resistance for Lamas who eventually took a unanimous points decision.

A points decision of 29-27 was by no means convincing, however, which appears to be playing in Lamas’ mind after the bout. There’s no doubt that Lamas is not the fighter he once was when he was pushing Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title. Since losing to Aldo, Lamas has endured a mixed bag of results in the Octagon, including a defeat to Max Holloway who is in the top ten pound-for-pound UFC fighters. Holloway is behind the likes of Israel Adesanya in the pound-for-pound rankings, who is due to fight Paulo Costa before the end of the year. Adesanya is currently rated a best-price of -163 with bet365, who are now licensed to operate in New Jersey and Colorado.

Although there is no shame in losing to someone like Holloway, who is clearly upwardly mobile in the UFC rankings, Lamas appears keen to leave the UFC scene on a positive note rather than a sour one. After his tight encounter with Algeo, Lamas admitted post-fight to commentator Paul Felder that he “felt like he looked”, suggesting that he had little left in the tank physically. He added that he had been “wrestling with the idea” of retiring from UFC in recent months but said he would be discussing with his family “before making a decision”.

Ryan Hall’s last-minute exit will have damaged Lamas’ pre-fight preparations

SOURCE: Photo

It has to be said that Lamas’ preparations for his hastily arranged fight with Algeo were by no means the best. The 34-year-old had spent several weeks in training to face Ryan Hall, who is currently 12th in the UFC featherweight rankings. However, the clash with Hall was called off at the last minute, with the tall, rangy Algeo a more than willing replacement. It’s always tricky facing a lucky last-minute replacement. They have very little to lose and Algeo’s demeanor in the Octagon more than proved that. He was happy to trade blows during the first round, but it was Lamas who was landing the better, more damaging combinations with shots to the head and leg taking effect.

However, just before the end of the first round, Algeo rattled off a string of blows that visibly left Lamas shaken at the sound of the horn. Throughout the second round, Lamas tried in vain to wrestle Algeo to the ground and force a submission. Lamas said in his post-match interview that he had been “rushing” his submissions and was too eager for the finish. It’s this hurried nature that suggests that Lamas is beginning to lack the self-confidence that he can get through the full three rounds.

Lamas’ desperate attempts to secure the submission played into Algeo’s hands (and elbows) in the second round. Algeo was able to catch Lamas on numerous occasions with knee and elbow strikes to free him from the veteran’s clutches. Midway through the second round, Algeo connected fully with a knee that appeared to send Lamas weak. Unlike bigger and better opponents, Algeo lacked the killer instinct to finish Lamas off, with the Chicago-born fighter able to regain his legs and composure for round three.

Lamas’ third-round recovery was impressive and fitting

Into the final round, Lamas was able to turn the tide back in his favor, demonstrating his infamous heart and power, leaving nothing in the Octagon. His third-round onslaught eventually secured a precious takedown of Algeo, with Lamas able to deploy a ground attack that would drain Algeo’s defenses. Algeo was pummeled with punches and kicks whilst attempting to be locked in a submission and despite the fact that Lamas was unable to secure the finishing move, the judges ruled in his favor.

Having been 1-3 in his previous four fights in the Octagon, this was a much-needed fillip for Lamas and his team. In that final round he demonstrated that his heart and fighting spirit remains, but whether he has the desire to go again remains to be seen. This latest grueling victory could be an opportune moment to bow out gracefully, but it’s a case of “watch this space”.

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