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Davi Ramos issues trio of callouts, says Kevin Lee doesn’t deserve top-15 status

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Davi Ramos has submitted Chris Gruetzmacher, Nick Hein and John Gunther (pictured) in the UFC
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC lightweight Davi Ramos lost back-to-back fights in Abu Dhabi and is now taking aim at veterans and popular 155-pounders with uneven records as he attempts to return to the winning column.

A multiple-time jiu-jitsu champion and ADCC gold medalist, Ramos is one of the most decorated grapplers in the lightweight class, and he wonders if that’s why it’s been so hard to find an opponent. Out of action since July, he’s decided to call out Al Iaquinta, Kevin Lee, and Jim Miller.

“Al Iaquinta, man, he’s really tough, has great boxing, and I really want to test my boxing,” Ramos said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I’ve had many fights in the UFC, and they always end up touching and then running, touching and running, and I don’t think Al Iaquinta would run away from me. He would come in and give me an opportunity to showcase my striking.”

Iaquinta dropped decisions to Donald Cerrone and Dan Hooker in 2019 after getting his hand raised against Kevin Lee, which marked his sole victory since losing a short-notice clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“He showed an excellent takedown defense in his fight against Khabib, he took the fight on short notice,” Ramos said. “But I’m sure he would have no chance against me if I take him down.”

Ramos has no respect whatsoever for Lee’s skill set. “The Motown Phenom” is 2-3 since losing an interim title fight with Tony Ferguson in 2017, with big wins over Edson Barboza and Gregor Gillespie contrasted by defeats to Iaquinta, Rafael dos Anjos and Charles Oliveira.

“I see nothing in his game, I don’t even know why he’s in the top-15,” Ramos said. “That’s the reality. I see myself beating him in every aspect of the game, and that’s why I want this fight. He’s a wrestler, he has some striking, and I think he would run across the entire cage to run away from me, afraid of my jiu-jitsu, but I want to put my hands on him and end this fight, on the feet or on the ground. I see myself beating him everywhere.”

Miller, a veteran of 21 wins in 36 octagon appearances, is a matchup Ramos isn’t really convinced could be booked right now, but he’s calling for it anyway since he sees the experienced lightweight as a big test.

“[I also want to fight] Jim Miller because he has great jiu-jitsu,” Ramos said. “He just fought Charles Oliveira and got submitted, so I’m sure it’s hard for him to accept a fight with me. He’s very experienced, he’s in the UFC for so many years, and would be a great test for me.”

The 37-year-old Miller competed five times since losing in 75 seconds to “do Bronx” in December 2018, going 3-2 with wins over Jason Gonzalez, Clay Guida and Roosevelt Roberts. In his most recent appearance, Miller lost a decision to Vinc Pichel.

“Fighting [Miller] would be a great pleasure for me,” Ramos said. “Especially if he accepts to go to the ground with me, right?”