Joe Lauzon: MMA is 'going to catch up to me' – but not at UFC Fight Night 108

NASHVILLE Joe Lauzonis not ignorant to the harsh realities of MMA as he readies for his 24th bout under the UFC banner on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 108.Lauzon (27-12 MMA, 14-9 UFC), who meets Stevie Ray (20-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) on the FS1-televised UFC Fight Night 108 main card at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass, has been around the sport long enough to know almost no one walks away unscathed. However, that doesn’t instill any fear within him.
Making two dozen trips to the octagon is many more than most UFC fighters will experience, but in that time Lauzon said he’s learned how to take care of himself in an efficient manner. What happens when the fight begins is more difficult to control, but when it comes to training and overall preparation, Lauzon has found ways to keep sharp.
“At some point it’s going to catch up to me,” Lauzon told MMAjunkie. “At 32, I don’t feel like I’m slowing down. Every camp, even when I was 21, 22, I would have a couple days where I would wake up sore like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But that’s just the nature of the sport. I don’t feel like it’s affecting me that much. Just a little more time stretching in the beginning (of training), a little more ice. No big deal, though.”
A fighter in Lauzon’s position is more likely to be forced out of the sport due to results rather than physical concerns. He’s remained active in the UFC since his September 2006 debut and has always kept his name relevant through some down periods by being an exciting fighter.
Lauzon will almost certainly be kept around as long as he can produce competitive, watchable fights, but he knows winning is essential, as well. An argument could be made that Lauzon should enter UFC Fight Night 108 on a two-fight losing skid, or at worst with a defeat in his most recent bout.“The Ultimate Fighter 5” cast member earned a debatable split-decision win over Marcin Held at UFC Fight Night 103 in January, and before that came out on the wrong end of an even closer split decision against Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 22 last August. Speaking honestly, Lauzon feels the results of those two fights should have been the inverse, but essentially chalked it up to a “what goes around comes around” situation.
“It’s just karma,” Lauzon said. “I 100 percent thought that I beat Jim Miller the second time we fought, and I got the loss. I was super bummed about it and I’m like, ‘This sucks forever. Going forward forever I’m always going to be one tier below.’ Then the next fight went the other way. I went back and watched the fight, and the decision wasn’t as bad as I thought it was initially, but I was upset. It sucked. I’ve never been so upset about someone giving me all kinds of money because I won a fight that I didn’t think I deserved.”
Even more than 13 years into his career, Lauzon said he’s learning lessons with every fight. The past two in particular have given him plenty to build on, and Lauzon said he’s entering the showdown with Ray better than ever. He’s made the necessary adjustments and is ready to start winning with consistency again.
“Even when you win there’s things you could do better, there’s things you could have tweaked a little bit differently,” Lauzon said. “Fights that we won that we blew people out of the water, we still could have done things better. So regardless of the outcome we’re always going to tweak and adjust things. It’s super clear as day when you get blown out the water; it’s easy to have that focal point of what you need to change. But every fight we’re trying to get better.”
Lauzon will hope to showcase his improvement against Ray. It’s somewhat of an old school vs. new school matchup, though, because Lauzon had already been in the UFC for nearly four years before Ray had even competed in his first pro fight. Whether Lauzon can hang with the next generation will be telling of his longevity, but when he scouts Ray as an opponent, he said there’s nothing he hasn’t seen already.
“I didn’t know a ton about him,” Lauzon said. “I remember he fought Ross Pearson, and I remember it being a close decision. He’s got great footwork, he’s got good boxing, he’s got great kickboxing, he’s got good wrestling, he’s got good jiu-jitsu. So he’s very well rounded all the way.”For more on UFC Fight Night 108, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.










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