The news that lightweight Anthony Pettis
would be fighting Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title in August
generated a lot of buzz Tuesday, however, contenders Ricardo Lamas
and Chan Sung Jung
weren't contributing to it.
"I'm pretty upset about it," Lamas told "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV. "I'm busting my ass, I put in all this work and I'm not being rewarded.
"I'm just a little dumbfounded by the whole situation."
The 30-year-old Lamas (15-2) is 4-0 since dropping down to featherweight in the UFC. His most recent win over top contender Erik Koch
at UFC on FOX 6 came after wins against contenders Cub Swanson
and Hatsu Hioki
"I thought I already established I was the no. 1 contender. If Koch would have beaten me none of this would have happened."
And Lamas is probably right. Koch and Pettis are good friends and training partners, and Pettis admitted on "UFC Tonight" that Koch's recent run prevented him from dropping down to 145 pounds. However, Koch's loss to Lamas got rid of that block for Pettis.
Lamas said he had yet to think about what's next since he was banking on fighting Aldo next. The other top contender in the division, Sung Jung, was also "bummed out" by the news, but said he was open to fighting Lamas or Cub Swanson next, should Swanson defeat Dustin Poirier
at UFC on FUEL TV 7
next week in London.
"The Korean Zombie" is hoping to return to action from left shoulder surgery in "early-to-mid summer."
Also confusing to both fighters was why the Aldo vs. Pettis fight was booked for Aug. 3, especially since Pettis said he didn't want to wait for the winner of April's lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez
. While Pettis said he wasn't sure why the fight was happening in six months, the UFC wasn't available for comment.
"I don't know why they pushed it back so far," Lamas said. "I don't really know what to say."
Lamas' next step will be to sit down with his brother and father, who help manage his career. In the end, he'll probably have to fight at least one more time before getting a crack at the title he so covets. He's also the latest fighter to feel like he's getting passed over for a fighter from another weight class.
"If guys are dropping weight classes, they should should earn their spot."