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Jose Aldo helped Hacran Dias train for Ricardo Lamas

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Ricardo Lamas lost to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 169, and he will return to the Octagon on Saturday night against another Nova Uniao talent.

Nova Uniao fighters and sparrings emulated Lamas to help Aldo in training, and Hacran Dias, Aldo’s teammate, says it helped him get ready for his UFC Fight Night 44 bout in San Antonio, Texas. Aldo, who is scheduled to compete against Chad Mendes in August, also trained with "Barnabe".

"(Aldo) just fought him, so he helped me a lot because he told me exactly what he does best," Dias told MMAFighting.com. "Everybody at Nova Uniao emulated Lamas to help Aldo in training, so they all knew how he fights so they trained with me like that. It helped me a lot."

Dias said "kicks and a dangerous guillotine" are what Lamas does best, but muay thai specialist and jiu-jitsu black belts are not rare at Nova Uniao.

"I trained muay thai with Pedro Rizzo and boxing with Giovanni Diniz, I focused on working my stand-up game for this fight," he said. "I know it’s an important fight for me, so I will get the win to stay among the best.

"I started this camp a long time ago because I was supposed to fight at TUF: Brazil 3 Finale, but they decided to move my fight to Texas. My camp was great."

Dias hasn’t finished an opponent since 2011, and that’s his goal against Lamas.

"I’m training to finish him. He’s a dangerous fighter, I can’t sleep on him, but I won’t make the same mistake I did in my last fight," he said. "(Nik) Lentz surprised me with the takedowns and I couldn’t fight until the third round, when I started to get comfortable I almost finished him, but it was too late. I will go for the finish all the time now."

Competing against a former title challenger is something special for Dias, who has a 1-1 record under the UFC banner. The Brazilian had four UFC fights cancelled over the past couple years, losing opportunities against the likes of Chad Mendes and Tatsuya Kawajiri, but he’s not planning to waste a big opportunity in Lamas.

"He just fought for the title, so I feel great to compete against someone like that," he said. "I just want to do my work and stay among the best."

"The opportunity (I lost) against Chad Mendes was really sad," he continued. "I had a shoulder injury on my last sparring and couldn’t raise my arm. Then they gave me a great opportunity against Kawajiri, a popular fighter from Japan, and I had to undergo surgery after breaking my hand. But God knows everything, and he gave me another great opportunity."

Ring rust is an issue, but not the only problem with lack of fights.

"Training is not the same thing as fighting. It’s a big problem," Dias said. "I had injuries, hand surgery and was away from a while. Out of sight, out of mind. I prefer to fight all the time, but there was always something going on."