Ricardo Lamas versus Jason Knight is the pick of the preliminary battles at an absolutely stacked card at UFC 214. It’s an interesting match-up too, as these two fighters have undoubted potential, but haven’t quite realized it yet.
Lamas’ early UFC career saw him tipped as a potential title hopeful and although he has had some notable victories, he hasn’t really reached the pinnacle of the division quite yet. Meanwhile, Jason Knight is a man who has demonstrated some wonderful heart in several recent wins, but looks as though he may lack the natural talent to compete with the best.
These two may not be the best fighters in the division, but they sure are evenly matched, so it will be interesting to see how this fight goes down.
Ricardo Lamas’ form
Lamas’ UFC form is the very definition of “stop-start.” Every step he takes forward seems to be followed by a step backwards. The fact that he has won four and lost three of his last seven fights perfectly demonstrates this.
His record of 17 wins and five losses isn’t a bad set of numbers, but unfortunately he is found wanting against the best far too often. Max Holloway, Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo all found ways to defeat ‘The Bully’. He might be good enough to beat the rest, but he’s certainly not good enough to beat the best.
Jason Knight’s form
Jason Knight is on a four-fight winning streak and he has looked a different man in the octogan since losing to Tatsuya Kawajiri. He is after taking this fight on short notice, so it will be interesting to see what state he is in when he enters the octagon.
His record of 20 wins and just two losses looks mightily impressive, but the standard of those wins certainly has to be questioned. It’s a good record – but it’s also a padded record. Lamas is a seasoned pro, so Knight will have to be at his best to compete.
Lamas was originally supposed to be fighting Chan Sung Jung, but the Korean Zombie had to withdraw due to an injury. Thus, Jason Knight is entering this fight at short notice and will not be at his full-fitness.
This may make a difference in the fight and is worth considering when picking a fighter to back. That being said, many fighters have stood in at the last minute before and took the win – just look at Michael Bisping’s title win and Nate Diaz’s victory over Conor McGregor.
Despite the late notice, we can still only see this fight going one way. Jason Knight is on a upwards trajectory and has won his last four fights with ease. Meanwhile, Lamas doesn’t look like a man who has the heart for an extended battle anymore. We just don’t think he has the enthusiasm he used to have within the octagon.
Thus, we are backing Jason Knight to win this bout. That result is priced at evens with Ladbrokes.