A shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will not be the next fight for Hatsu Hioki, who many consider the No. 2 featherweight in the world.
Instead, Hioki will face Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FX 4, which is scheduled for June 22 from Atlantic City. FOX Sports confirmed the bout with UFC officials on Wednesday.
Aldo was recently mentioned as a possibility for the main event of UFC 147, which is slated for Brazil. With Hioki taking this fight, it appears Erik Koch is the lone person in the division left to challenge Aldo.
“Many pegged Hioki as the next possible challenger for Jose Aldo’s title, but he wants one more test before going for the belt,” UFC president Dana White said. “In his way is Lamas, who has proven to be a tough competitor for anyone to deal with, especially since moving down to featherweight and finishing both opponents at 145 pounds. Both guys have verbally agreed to the match.”
Hioki will be facing plenty of pressure to remain on track to battle Aldo, as Lamas has nothing to lose against the Japanese superstar.