UFC FN 50: Joe Lauzon’s Expecting “Very Tough” Fight vs. Michael Chiesa, But Believes he Has “All The Tools to Beat Him”
By Kelsey Mowatt
If you’re expecting to see some memorable grappling when Joe Lauzon takes on Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 50, September 5th, you’re not the only one. After all, the veteran Lauzon has laid claim to six “Submission of the Night” awards during his UFC run, while Chiesa has already secured two in five UFC bouts.
Of course, anything can happen since both men are well rounded fighters, but Lauzon believes there’s a good chance the victory will take place on the mat.
“I definitely do think this fight will be decided by the ground stuff,” Lauzon relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing the top games of each lightweight. “Whether I put him down or he puts me down, and how we both deal with the other person being on top. But, it’s also not going to be easy getting it down either way.”
“He’s really long. He’s pretty elusive; he uses his jab well,” Lauzon furthered about the 6’1 foot tall fighter. “He’s great at using his length, so we’ll have to do some work on our feet before we get it there.”
It’s an interesting match-up for Lauzon (23-9), considering that several of his more recent fights have been against established vets like Mac Danzig, Jim Miller and Jamie Varner. When the 30 year-old Lauzon steps into the Octagon to face Chiesa, he will be doing so for the 17th time.
Although the upcoming fight will be just Chiesa’s sixth with the promotion, the 26 year-old has impressed in his relatively brief run with the UFC. Since he choked out Al Iaquinta to win the 15th Season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, the only man to defeat Chiesa (11-1) is contender Jorge Masvidal.
“I think he’s tough,” Lauzon noted about Chiesa. “I think he’s a very good grappler. He’s long, he’s lanky, he’s a southpaw; a lot of things that kind of put a wrinkle in the game-plan, so to speak, but I feel like all the stuff he’s good at I’m better. I feel like I’m the better grappler, I feel like I have better striking, I feel like, you know, wrestling’s pretty comparable. I think I’ve been in their with the tougher guys.”
“I think he’s had like ten pro fights total,” furthered Lauzon. “So, I definitely have the experience advantage, but I think it’s a very, very tough fight…I think we know what we’re getting into, but he’s tough. He’s so good at taking the back, he’s got great jiu-jitsu, but I just feel like I have all the tools to beat him though.”
The fight will mark the first time Lauzon has fought in 2014, and since the birth of his son Joey, who was diagnosed with cancer shortly after he was born.
“We had a really rough start. He was born with cancer, so we were dealing with all that,” Lauzon relayed about his son, who was born this past January. “We had all the newborn stuff, and then we had a bunch of other stuff on top. But he’s doing great now; he did three rounds of chemo which took care of all the cancer, it’s gone. He still has a long way to go but he’s doing great now.”
UFC FN 50 will be hosted by the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.