It had only been a matter of days since his first-round knockout of Diego Sanchez at UFC 200 and Joe Lauzon was enjoying a leisurely day at the park enjoying his new favorite pastime collecting Pokemon.
When his phone rang, the caller ID said 'Joe Silva' and Lauzon knew that could only mean one thing — he was about to get offered a fight.
Silva needed to fill a spot on the upcoming FOX UFC Fight Night card in Vancouver and one of the names he had on a short list of possible opponents was Jim Miller. Now, Lauzon was obviously familiar with Miller after they put on one of the greatest battles in UFC history back in 2012, but that was also part of the problem.
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“It's one of those fights where it's very tough to live up to the last one,” Lauzon told FOX Sports. “We got 'Fight of the Year' and it's kind of tough to live up to that last one. I was kind of against it for the most part.”
Lauzon also had an admiration for Miller and even found himself rooting for the New Jersey native after their fight was finished. Lauzon has never been the kind of fighter to hold a grudge after a loss, especially when it comes against someone like Miller, who he respects tremendously.
But with only a few weeks to go until the fight, Lauzon also knew that Miller would absolutely accept the fight and because they know each other so well, neither one of them would be put at a disadvantage with less time to prepare.
So Lauzon gave Silva the go ahead and the UFC was about to put on a rematch of one of the most memorable fights of all time.
“He's one of those guys. I know everything about Jim. There's no homework needed,” Lauzon said about Miller. “Joe Silva had said in the past that whenever he calls Jim Miller he never says no. He always says yes. He always wants to fight. I knew it was going to be on, I knew he would accept.”
As much as Lauzon respects Miller as a fighter and an opponent, he also sees the permanent reminder from their last encounter each and every time he looks in the mirror.
Lauzon suffered a massive cut from his eyebrow up to his forehead during the fight that covered his face in blood. Even with the best stitch job and surgery after the bout was over, Lauzon still has that jagged scar to remind him of what it was like to fight Miller the last time.
Of course, Lauzon holds no ill will towards Miller for the cut or the scar that resulted from their first fight, but he does owe him a little bit of payback and he hopes to exact that when they meet again on Saturday night.
“We've got to force a trilogy. We've got to go out there and smash Jim and get people dying to see the third one. I think that's the big thing. Everyone talks about 'you're going to bleed so much!' No, I'm going to keep all my blood inside. I'm not going to bleed like crazy this time. Maybe Jim will fight for three rounds light headed and feeling like crap,” Lauzon said. “That's how I anticipate this going.
Lauzon and Miller will battle it out just one week after Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz engaged in one of the most brutal rivalries in UFC history where trash talk transformed into a full-blown brawl in the days leading up to their fight at UFC 202.
No one will ever mistake Lauzon or Miller as the kinds of fighters who will engage in verbal warfare with an opponent or insult someone just for the sake of attention.
What Lauzon will guarantee, however, is just like McGregor and Diaz did last Saturday night when the talking was finished — his fight with Miller will be one to remember.
“I think the pictures from last time speak for themselves,” Lauzon said. “It was such a great fight, it can't help but be a great fight again.”
I'm going to cut him. I'm going to make him bleed all over the place. That's how envision this fight going. I'm going to give him a matching scar on his forehead.