Cuban-origin fighter Ricardo Lamas announced on Tuesday his definitive retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA), days after winning in his last bout.
Born in Illinois, Chicago, the son of a Cuban father and a Mexican mother, the contender posted on his Twitter account a long message thanking his family, friends and coaches for the support provided during his fruitful career, which spanned 12 years.
Ricardo Lamas’ words of gratitude to his fans
“First, I would like to say that I am a proud American who does not take for granted the freedoms I have known all my life, thanks to the sacrifices made by my parents to give my brothers and me a better future,” he said.
“To my fans in Mexico and Cuba, know that I will always carry these flags with pride and represent our culture with honor and integrity,” he added.
— Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) September 8, 2020
Lamas, 38, belongs to the featherweight category at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Hours before he posted the news on social media, he gave an interview with MMAJunkie Radio in which he explained the reason for his departure.
.@RicardoLamasMMA explains how finding his late brother’s misplaced rosary solidified his decision to retire from MMA. 🙏
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) September 8, 2020
The fighter revealed that he was promised by his deceased brother that he would retire after his last fight, if he looked after him.
“(My brother) kept his promise to take care of me, so I have to keep my word and I’m going to hang up the gloves after that performance,” he stressed.
Lamas’ last fight happened last August 29 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The fighter faced Bill Algeo, whom he beat by unanimous decision of the judges.
That same day he indicated that his career in the ringers had probably come to an end.
“Obviously, over the last year, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. In my last fight I suffered the worst injury I’ve ever had, fracturing my jaw in two places. I had to have surgery. Just a lot of ups and downs in the last year or two with my career, and I think that can be attributed to that I struggled with the idea of hanging up my gloves,” he said then.
Lamas has always been proud of its Cuban and Mexican roots. In his fights he used to always take out the flags of the two countries and even had them in his clothes.
On August 30th, after defeating Algeo in Las Vegas, he sent a message to the Cubans asking them to unite to end the dictatorship in Cuba once and for all.
“As Cubans we have to unite because together we are strong and with a voice we have to demand freedom for the people of Cuba. And after achieving that, together, with one blow, we have to crush the castristic dictatorship. Stop it! The people of Cuba cannot coexist with the enemy. Down with Diaz-Canel! Down with Raul Castro! Down with the dictatorship! Long live Cuba Libre!” said the fighter, whose father and uncle were political prisoners on the island.