WSOF 3’s John Gunderson on Dan Lauzon: “I’m Coming In To Put Him Away”
By Timothy Gilbert
When John Gunderson was introduced to the sport of MMA, he came within moments of accepting a professional fight. He had minimal prior training and was only in the arena to watch the night’s event, but when a fighter unexpectedly dropped out of their scheduled bout, Gunderson nearly volunteered to fill in.
Instead, he opted to participate in the organizations next event, a decision that resulted in the first round knockout of his unsuspecting opponent.
It is this love for fighting that drew Gunderson to the sport, it is this love that keeps him motivated and it is this love that keeps him going after 49 fights that includes 14 losses and a disappointing stint in the UFC.
John Gunderson will face Dan Lauzon at June 14’s World Series of Fighting 3 event.
His opponent was the youngest fighter to ever compete in the UFC, a man who has finished all 16 of his professional wins and the younger brother of the highly respected lightweight, Joe Lauzon.
Yet, Gunderson is decidedly unfazed.
“It’s who you fight. Who has he fought that he is able to finish those guys? Now, he is a tough kid, he’s well rounded and he can fight everywhere, but if you’re finishing everybody, you’re probably not fighting the best guys you could be fighting” he said.
“Every guy that I have fought in the last four years has been a legitimate fighter who has been on a good win streak or has done something, been somewhere and is still doing something to this day.”
With finishes over such names as Karo Parisyan, Justin Buchholz and Bryan Caraway, Gunderson has a proven track record of beating big time opponents in impressive fashion.
“He better be trying to finish me because that’s what I’m there to do to him. I’m not coming in there to win; I’m coming in to put him away.”
There is no denying the unpredictable nature embedded in the fibers of all fights; one well placed punch, one well timed kick and the fight can be over.
Legends fall and heroes are be born, all in the blink of an eye.
Just look at Matt Serra’s legendary TKO of Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69.
And while the analysis of a fighter’s past performances can help determine what traits an opponent will bring into the cage, this level of unpredictability cannot be avoided. So in order to effectively neutralize this unknown, Gunderson plans on coming into this fight more prepared than ever.
Despite coming off of a submission loss to David Castillo last July, Gunderson remains wholly motivated. Training with partners such as Ryan Couture, John Alessio and Evan Dunham, his confidence seems to be at an all time high.
“I don’t remember the last time I felt this good, I really don’t and it’s going to show,” he said.
“When everyone leaves they’re going to remember our fight. If Dan comes prepared, then it’s going to be a hell of a fight, because I’m coming to kick his ass, I’m coming to put him away, and I’m in great shape. “
In addition to the physical advantage Gunderson feels he holds, he will also be backed by the motivation and support from many members of his friends and family.
“If you look back in my career, I’ve fought better than ever when I’m fighting where I’m living,” he said. “When you have a crowd backing you up, it drives you, it motivates you. To me it makes me train just a little bit harder and take the fight a little more serious.”
And while this will be Gunderson’s 51 fight in his storied career, the fire for battle burns as strong as ever.
“All I think about in the back of my head, every day, is putting that guy away in that 15 to 25 minutes that I’m in the ring or cage with that individual and coming out on top, that’s what drives me. And when I’m motivated I’m dangerous,” he said.
“When I’m motivated I feel like I’m one of the top 25 lightweights in the world.”
Good thing, considering he will be fighting a renowned and experienced scrapper in Dan Lauzon.
Lauzon has gained notoriety for his temper and pugnacious personality; something that Gunderson says reminds him of himself.
“A lot of the stuff that I heard about him just makes me think of the kind of kid that I was and the kind of person I still am in a certain way. You know that’s the kind of person I am. I’m a nice guy in a lot of ways. I have a good heart and I’m a good person, but I’m also a real mean son of a bitch.”
If there’s one thing to take away from John Gunderson; a man with 50 professional fights in over a decade long career, a man who has spent over five hours fighting in the cage against some of the best competitors in the world, it’s that he is truly a fighter. His heart and soul is that of a competitor, a brawler who respects the competition and the opponents brave enough to face him.
“I love the aspect of standing across from somebody and it’s me and him, and it’s until someone gives up, or someone can’t go anymore. I love it.”
A modern day gladiator by his own definition, Gunderson’s continued motivation is one that’s innate. While many fighters compete for fame, fortune or the glamour of the spotlight, John Gunderson does it all for the love of combat.