Ricardo Lamas has officially retired from mixed martial arts.
Lamas returned to the win column against Bill Alego at UFC on ESPN+33 and after the fight said he is contemplating retirement. After talking with his family, the former title challenger officially retired from the sport.
“If you watch me fight, you’ll know that I always carry a rosary with me to the weigh-ins and to the walkout, and I’ll give it to my corner or whatever,” Lamas told MMA Junkie Radio. “In 2009, one of my brothers passed away and he was living in Arizona at the time. So when we got the news, me, two of my brothers and my dad went out there to kind of gather his belongings, see him, kind of identify him and bring him back. … I was in this little store, kind of like a Native American store, and they had a bunch of rosaries – little wooden rosaries.
“So I picked one up, one for myself, one for each of my brothers, one for my dad, and one for my brother who had just passed away. At his wake, I had the priest bless all the rosaries, and I gave one to each of my brothers and we buried one with my brother. So that was kind of my way of bringing him with me to every fight, because he was really proud (of me).”
Ricardo Lamas says he promised his brother if he looked over him and got one more win, Aug. 29 would be his final fight. That ended up being the case so he knew he couldn’t have gone on after that.
“So the next morning, I’m packing up my backpack, the backpack that I use every single day. I’m putting stuff in there, and the main pocket flapped open,” Lamas said. “On the inside of the main pocket is another pocket with a zipper. The zipper was cracked maybe half an inch, an inch, and I’m just sitting on the bed, and I glance over and look at the backpack and through that half-an-inch hole, I see a piece of the rosary in there. And I was like, ‘No (expletive) way.’ So I unzip it, stick my hand in and pull the rosary out and just started bursting out into tears.
“But after that happened, I knew something big was going to happen in this fight. One of my corners was staying with me, and I tried telling him about it and I couldn’t even talk. I kept getting choked up. I was crying, and then he started crying, so I’ve never had anything like that happen to me – if it was a coincidence … the same day that my brother passed away … a few hours before, I’m literally talking to him in my head and mention the rosary … I didn’t have it with me … and I think it was just his way of letting me know he was still there. So he kept his promise to watch over me, so I’ve got to stick by my word, and I’m going to hang up my gloves after that performance.”