Ricardo Lamas was packed and ready to go fight in Manila when he found out that the UFC event he was headlining was cancelled.
The fourth-ranked UFC featherweight was schedule to headline UFC Fight Night 97, or better known as UFC Manila, on Oct. 15 against the biggest name he's faced in his career – B.J. Penn. Lamas recalls receiving the news that his fight and the entire event was off.
"I was actually literary packing up my car in Miami to get back to Chicago and I jumped on Twitter really quick, and saw some tweets of guys, you know, reporting that B.J. [Penn] had pulled out of the fight," Lamas told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "So I got on the phone and started texting my brother, who manages me and all that, so it took him a little bit to get in touch with Shawn, and Shawn said, ‘Yeah, BJ is hurt right now, we're trying to get him to go to the doctor'. And I think it was maybe the day after that they had cancelled the whole card, so I might have been in route to Chicago when I found out all about it."
This is the second time in the history of the UFC that a card has been cancelled. The first time was back in September 2012 when the promotion cancelled UFC 151 after headliner Dan Henderson had pulled out of his title but with Jon Jones.
Lamas says it's discouraging to go through an entire training camp and not get to fight. The 34-year-old featherweight hopes to get a bout before before the holidays hit, as he wants to give his family a nice Christmas.
"It sucked, man," Lamas said. "I literary went through an entire camp. I was done training. The only thing that was left was to cut the weight. I was already holding my weight pretty well and to hear that, it stinks, especially with the holidays coming up. This is what I do to make a living and I want to get my family a nice Christmas, and to have that all cancelled when you put in so much work it's discouraging. But I have to push that out of my head, and I know the UFC will make it right, and I believe that everything will workout."
When the UFC announced that event was being cancelled last Thursday, they stated in a press release that fighters on the canceled card would be compensated. It's not sure how much that compensation will be.
But it's not just a paycheck Lamas, who will now face Charles Oliveira in Mexico City, is now missing out of, it's also the opportunity to fight one of the biggest legends in MMA and headline a UFC event.
"B.J. is a huge name, he's a legend in the sport and I never thought I'd be fighting a guy like that when I came in the UFC, especially with us being in different weight classes, him finally retiring, and then coming back," Lamas said. "So it was a huge opportunity for me. He's a big name and, you know, headlining a UFC event in Manila, I was really excited about that and it's just one of those things. I don't want to dwell on it, I just want to put it behind me and move forward, and see whats next."