Joe Lauzon: “When you know what someone is going to do it’s a completely different fight”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into this weekend’s UFC 136 card, much of the discussion surrounding the main card match-up between Joe Lauzon and Melvin Guillard surrounded the latter. Due to a five fight win streak that included several stoppage wins, many observers believed Guillard was on the verge of title contention, provided, of course, that he could defeat the veteran Lauzon.
While Lauzon was quick to credit Guillard for his punishing strikes and the danger he presents, he also warned that if the lightweight made a mistake, his submission game would be waiting. The 27 year-old’s prefight analysis proved to be rather accurate.
“That’s all in the training,” Lauzon told FCF, while discussing his quick, rear-naked-choke submission of Guillard, which came seconds after Lauzon stunned the lightweight with a counter left hand. “A lot of people like to say stuff, but honestly, I do a lot of preparation. We prepared a lot for this. We studied what Melvin was going to come forward with. The combination we countered off of, all his kicks, all the habits and tendencies. When you know what someone is going to do it’s a completely different fight.”
“I don’t think we thought we were going to drop him and put him away like that,” Lauzon added. “But if I was having difficulties getting a takedown we were going to throw punches until we saw that opening and I could take him down. I said in interviews that I was going to take Melvin down; I might have got knocked out in the process, but I think it was kind of unlikely.”
Saturday’s victory was not only Lauzon’s (21-6) second in a row, following his submission win over Curt Warburton in June, but considering Guillard’’s recent run it’s unquestionably one of his biggest.
“I definitely think it’s up there in terms of career victories,” said Lauzon. “The (Jens) Pulver fight got me a lot of attention because it was totally out of left field. This is awesome though. Personally, I think the fight in Boston was number one for me, because I got to fight in front of my home crowd…but this is definitely up there too.”
“I’m super happy that I beat a guy that was on such a big win streak,” Lauzon furthered. “I think my biggest thing now is that I need to find more consistency. I need to stay healthy, avoid injuries and prepare to the best of my abilities…I feel like as long as I stay healthy I can go in there and fight with anyone.”
Now it will be interesting to see who the UFC will look to match Lauzon up next, considering he just defeated a man who was widely viewed to be one of the lightweight division’s top contenders.
“I definitely don’t want to go backwards,” said Lauzon, while discussing potential future opponents. “I want to fight another top guy for sure. Some people go out and call out guys, I’m not like that, but whoever the UFC wants. Joe Silva knows much better, he definitely pays a lot closer attention then I do, so whatever he thinks would be a good fight I’m down for.”
Considering it’s nearly mid-October, barring some unforeseen circumstances, it would appear that Lauzon’s 2011 campaign has come to close.
“I didn’t have any major injuries, but I did have a few nagging injuries, so I definitely want to let those rest up one hundred percent.” Lauzon said. “So I probably won’t fight before the end of the year, but I would love to fight sometime in February; that would be nice.”
Photo credit: Lauzon Mixed Martial Arts