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Ricardo Lamas recounts dealing with blood clot before Darren Elkins fight

Ending the first losing streak of his career had to have been important to Ricardo Lamas ahead of his last fight, but a health scare threatened to derail him before he could even step into the cage with Darren Elkins.

Lamas was scheduled to meet Elkins at UFC Argentina last November, but upon touching down in the South American country, it quickly became apparent that something was off.

“It was the first night I landed in Argentina,” Lamas told host Luke Thomas on The MMA Houron Monday. “I’d just got done cutting weight. I did a run, sat in the sauna, and I felt something in my calf that almost felt like a small muscle pull is how it started out and just progressively through the week got worse. That next morning I woke up, I couldn’t straighten my leg out, it was extremely painful to the touch, but I’d never had that before so I didn’t know what it was.

“I thought I pulled a muscle running on the treadmill or something, and it just got progressively worse throughout the week. Luckily, it didn’t affect my performance on fight night.”

Indeed, Lamas would go on to defeat Elkins by third-round TKO to snap his cold skid, so there was no reason for him to think that he was experiencing any serious health issues. It was only later when the UFC asked him if he needed to have any injuries checked out that he informed them of the problems with his leg, which resulted in him being sent to a doctor and being diagnosed with a blood clot.

Lamas was in disbelief at first, but ended up undergoing treatment to deal with the clot. Even then, he managed to talk his way into an accelerated schedule so as not to interfere with his fighting schedule.

“They put me on blood thinners,” Lamas said. “They wanted me on it for three months and I told them to pump the brakes on that one and I talked them down to six weeks. After six weeks I had numerous blood tests done, everything came back clear, so it looks like I’m alright.”

Up next for Lamas is a home date at UFC 238 in Chicago. He fights Calvin Kattar on the ESPN preliminaries, and the one-time title challenger is hoping that a win gets him closer to another championship opportunity and perhaps the chance to run back his memorable three-round battle with Max Holloway at UFC 199 three years ago.

He’s confident that the blood clot incident was one-off malady, a result of the 10-plus hour flight to Argentina that compounded the usual wear-and-tear that Lamas undergoes traveling back-and-forth from Chicago to Miami, where he finishes his fight camps.

“I don’t think so,” Lamas said of the chance that the blood clot could come back. “Some of the tests I had done were testing my body’s propensity to developing blood clots and if I was at risk to develop more and they all came back good.

“I think it was just kind of the perfect storm. A long drive home from Miami, two days later, long flight to Argentina. I didn’t get up at all during the flight because they flew me at night and I fell asleep. A little bit dehydrated from the initial dropping of weight, so I think just all those things put together and just bad luck.”