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Ricardo Lamas would rather fight Charles Oliveira than BJ Penn: It makes more sense

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Looking to get back in title contention, Ricardo Lamas is glad he's fighting Charles Oliveira and not B.J. Penn.

Last month, Lamas was scheduled to fight former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion Penn in the main event of UFC Fight Night 97 in Manila. However, the UFC hall of famer suffered an injury less than two weeks from the fight that forced him out of his bout with Lamas, delaying his return from retirement.

The UFC went on to cancel the Manila event and rescheduled ‘The Bully' to fight in Mexico at this Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3 Finale against Oliveira. Lamas believes this match-up makes more sense than the Penn fight.

"This fight makes more sense than the B.J. Penn fight because he's [Oliveira] ranked in the top 10," Lamas told MMA Fighting. "B.J. is a big name and everything, but he had one fight at featherweight and lost, so a win over him wouldn't really move me up, it wouldn't move me down, it would just kind of be the experience of fighting a hall of famer. With Oliviera, a win over him would get me a fight with another top-five featherweight and another win after that, I'm back in title contention."

The 34-year-old Lamas said a win over Penn wouldn't have helped his career, as fans were expecting him to get an ‘easy' win over the Hawaiian. That's why Lamas believes that for the most part things worked out in his favor.

"I wish I would have fought in October and got the fight over with already, but I think it did work out for the better," Lamas explained. "Better opponent, I don't have to fight in the complete opposite time zone of what I'm used to, and it's in Mexico, so I think it definitely worked out for the better."

Although some may see the fight with Penn as an opportunity to build off a big name, and get a notable victory in the pocket, Lamas is not looking to book a fight again with ‘The Prodigy' unless he's sees that Penn can get through a full training camp without getting injured.

"I could probably say I'm done with that match up, unless he actually comes back and actually fights one of these times," Lamas said. "That was like the third fight he had that didn't happen, so I don't think I would accept another fight with B.J. unless he was actively fighting and making it to the actual fight.

"I don't want to put myself through that especially since I have to spend time away from my family to train and all that. I'm not going to put them [Lamas' family] through that and myself through that. You know, when I accepted this fight with B.J., you can ask people close to me, I was even telling people [that] I don't even think this fight was going to happen just because how he's been on the past. And unfortunately, I was correct."

Now fighting ‘do Bronx', Lamas has been forced to extend his training camp by almost a month, and he's looking to get this fight passed him.

"I've had a long camp, man," Lamas said. "I was supposed to fight almost a month ago, and I'm more than ready. I have a lot of pumped up aggression from this long camp, so I'm looking to finish this fight as soon as possible."