Stevie Ray not opposed to quick finish over Joe Lauzon, but likes 'feeling a bit beat up' after a fight

NASHVILLE Stevie Ray knows he’s not yet a highly recognizable octagon name, but he thinks that might be about to change.Coming off a key win over veteran Ross Pearson into what will be his debut in U.S. soil, Scotland’s Ray (20-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) sees Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 108 lightweight scrap against bonus-collecting Joe Lauzon (27-12 MMA, 14-9 UFC) as histicket to a wider audience.
“It could be a good thing as well, that I’m not as known,” Ray told MMAjunkie ahead of the FS1-televised main card scrap at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. “Because I think I’m under-looked. But I’m sure after this fight, this is the one that’s going to seal the deal for me. I came off a good win over Ross Pearson. Last time I spoke to you, I said that I’d like to fight Ross Pearson, and then it happened, and obviously I got the win.“That was the same. I got asked a few times after the Pearson fight who I’d like to fight. I did originally call out Diego Sanchez, but I said that someday Joe Lauzon, I’d like as well. I just feel like my fight style works well with people like him. He comes to bang. And I think that will bring out the best in me. Definitely, a good fight.
“This is the fight where people will say, ‘Who’s this guy, 5-1 in the UFC?’ after I beat Joe.”
Although he’s about to try to inflict some violence upon him, Ray admitted he’s a fan of Lauzon. And, acutely aware of the veteran’spenchant for thrilling and quite often bloody battles, he saidthe outcome might alsobe a healthier bank account.
“(I’m) still a fan,” Ray said. “Even though I’m fighting him, I’m a fan of Joe. Anybody that comes and fights his style, it’s exciting for the fans and people watching. He puts it all down, he’s tough, and he’s in a lot of ‘Fight of the Nights’ and stuff, which is good for me as well. Maybe get a nice little ($50,000 fight-night bonus).”
Ray is aware “Fight of the Night” honors are often offered to gritty, back-and-forth battles that can stretch through numerousrounds. And ready to fight to his fullest after playing it “a bit safe” in the short-notice split call over Pearson, he’s perfectly comfortable with that idea.
Which is not to say he’d be upset witha quick finish.
“Don’t get me wrong: If I went and submitted him straight away or knocked him out straight away, then excellent,” Ray said. “But part of me does like that kind of brawl, and I like, after a fight, feeling a bit beat up. It feels more deserved, the win, if you’ve been in a fight. I am prepared for that. I’ve prepared for a three-round war.
“I’ve been in a few tough fights before where I felt I had to really needed to use my heart and determination to come out on top, so I’m prepared for that. But if I can knock him out with a flash punch, then ideal.”
Now seven years into his pro MMA run, the 27-year-old lightweight is not exactly a beginner.But, bringing in over a decade of octagon experience alone, 32-year-old Lauzon certainly walks into Saturday’s scrap the 24th in his UFCcareer the more seasoned man.
Asked whether he believes that means he may be catching Lauzon on the downswing, however, Ray had ameasured response.

“I’m probably catching him at a good time, same with Pearson when I fought him,” Ray said. “He’s still dangerous, but he’s had a lot of fights in the UFC, and he’s been around for 10years in the UFC or something. I feel like he’s got the same drive and the same motivation …You’ve got to kind of look at the results, look at his last few performances. They haven’t maybe been the best.“That was a close fight with Marcin Held, and he exposed some things in the fight and stuff. So I think I’m catching him at a good time, but I do know he’s obviously still dangerous.”
Other than recognition and maybe some extra crash, a win on Saturday would meansome welcome added momentum after a loss to Alan Patrick at September’s UFC Fight Night 95 event snapped a five-fight streak. While Ray iskeeping these considerationsat the back of his mind for now,he already dares to think big about what the victory could mean for his future.And it’s one that could involve the main spot in the UFC’s return to Glasgow, currently set for July 16.
“I haven’t really got anybody in mind,” Ray said. “But it would be good to get either a big name, or someone ranked above me, and could headline the (SSE) Hydro (arena).”
To hear Ray’s own take on the scrap against Lauzon, check out the video above.And for more on UFC Fight Night 108, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.















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