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Ricardo Lamas: Conor McGregor 'needs to fight a wrestler like me'

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

MEXICO CITY -- Despite being the higher ranked and more seasoned fighter, Ricardo Lamas entered his UFC 180 featherweight match-up as the betting underdog to Dennis Bermudez. While those odds appear somewhat strange in retrospect, especially considering it took Lamas a little over three minutes to bring Bermudez's vaunted seven-fight win streak to a screeching halt, Lamas now wants to repeat the favor against the conductor of division's boldest hype train.

"I want to get back to the title shot," Lamas said at UFC 180's post-fight press conference.

"The biggest guy everybody's talking about in this featherweight division is Conor McGregor, and I'd love a fight with him. I know he's matched up in January, but if he wins that fight, I think he needs to fight a wrestler like me before getting to the title."

Lamas' sentiment has been echoed before by several featherweights who believe the slick-talking Irishman has been granted a favorable road to the top. The 145-pound division is one of the most wrestler rich weight classes in the UFC, yet zero of McGregor's past four opponent are considered to be particularly strong wrestlers, nor is his upcoming opponent Dennis Siver.

Lamas spoke often throughout fight week in Mexico City about wanting to take a more vocal approach towards directing his own career, likely following McGregor's lead. And in putting his promise to practice on Saturday night, Lamas coaxed McGregor to respond via Twitter just hours after his challenge was issued.

For now, the question of the next man to challenge Jose Aldo remains up in the air, although it appears that either McGregor or the winner of next week's Cub Swanson vs. Frankie Edgar fight will have the inside track.

Nonetheless, Lamas managed to not only topple Bermudez's name from the short list of top featherweight contenders at UFC 180, but also forcefully reenter his own name into the discussion.

"Dennis Bermudez, man, people loved this guy, everybody was on his bandwagon," White said on FOX Sports 1. "And Lamas comes out tonight and says: ‘Let me remind everybody who the No. 4 ranked guy in the world is.' Wow. He looked unbelievable tonight."