UFC: Lamas thinks featherweight is the wrong division for BJ Penn

Nissi Icasiano

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UFC: Lamas thinks featherweight is the wrong division for BJ Penn

Josh Albelda/RAPPLER

Lamas, who faces Penn at UFC Fight Night Manila 2 in October, feels weight may have been to blame for Penn's poor performance against Frankie Edgar

MANILA, Philippines – Former UFC title contender Ricardo Lamas believes that the featherweight division is not the right weight class for mixed martial arts (MMA) legend BJ Penn.

Both men are scheduled to face each other in the main event of UFC Fight Night Manila 2, which takes place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on October 15.

Although Penn agreed to square off with him in a 145-pound bout, Lamas opined hat it was not a wise decision on his opponent’s part.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good decision to drop all the way down to featherweight. He was a very good fighter at welterweight and at lightweight,” he told Rappler.

(READ: UFC Fight Night Manila: 10 facts about Ricardo Lamas)

Lamas suggested that the weight cutting might have contributed to Penn’s poor performance against Frankie Edgar in their July 2014 rubber match, which was the featherweight debut of the two-division UFC champion.

“From his last performance against Frankie Edgar, it looked like the weight cut made him suffer a little bit,” he said.

Penn had virtually nothing to offer Edgar as the latter had all the right answers, pounding his opponent for two-plus rounds before finally forcing referee Herb Dean to halt the contest at the 4:16mark of round 3.

Like Penn, Lamas is also no stranger to switching weight brackets as he started as a lightweight competitor for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and had a 9-2 standing with two knockouts and two submissions.

When WEC merged with the UFC in 2011, Lamas decided to transfer to the featherweight division.

Lamas ended up winning his first 4 assignments as a featherweight, including a second-round submission win against Cub Swanson in November 2011 and a second-round technical knockout of Erik Koch in January 2013.

His winning streak led him to a championship clash with Jose Aldo at UFC 169 in February 2014.

Lamas’ present win-loss card as a featherweight is 7-3, with recently suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Max Holloway last June.

As Lamas is set to lock horns with a 15-year MMA veteran like Penn in his comfort zone, the 34-year-old Chicago native is not giving himself a room for error.

“We will have to see what happens in October,” he said. – Rappler.com

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