A desperate Joe Lauzon is an extremely dangerous Joe Lauzon.
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The last time Joe Lauzon stepped foot in the Octagon it was supposed to be a grand homecoming for the veteran UFC lightweight as he got the chance to compete in his backyard of Boston for the second time as part of the show that helped launch FOX Sports 1 back in August.
It was only the second occasion the UFC had visited Beantown and Lauzon was the lone fighter to perform at both UFC 118 and the UFC Fight Night card in August. The first time around, Lauzon destroyed Gabe Ruediger in just over two minutes to win his fight and take home ‘Submission of the Night’ honors to boot.
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The second go round for Lauzon didn’t go nearly as well as he found himself on the bad end of a one-sided beating courtesy of Michael Johnson. Despite being a heavy favorite going into the night, Lauzon struggled at every turn facing Johnson and when it was over he lost a lopsided unanimous decision.
It was the only fight I can ever think of that I would say I was embarrassed about…that last fight was crap.
It was like a nightmare come true for Lauzon fighting in front of his friends, family and students as the entire town of Boston seemed to show up and support him.
Looking back now, Lauzon makes no excuses for what happened but it really was a case of everything that could go wrong, did go wrong and it ended up being one of the most miserable nights of his nearly decade long career.
"Michael Johnson fought a great fight. I think I peaked a little bit too early. It was weird fighting in Boston because I usually go through a certain routine like flying out, check into the hotel, establishing a workout schedule but being at home it just didn’t seem quite real. It was kind of like it was my last week of training instead of the week of the fight. The big thing was Michael Johnson happened," Lauzon told FOX Sports on Wednesday. "He snapped to, and I felt bad warming up and he hit me with a big shot and he kept getting faster and I kept getting slower and the margin increased quite a bit. It was just tough."
Lauzon has faced defeat before in other fights and losing is just part of what goes along with competition. Nobody wins all the time, but this one was particularly hard to swallow because of all the other attention that came along with Lauzon fighting in front of his hometown and then falling in a manner that he describes as embarrassing.
As Lauzon approaches his next fight at UFC on FOX 9 against Mac Danzig, he’s keeping the bout against Johnson tucked away as a friendly reminder of how a fight can go so utterly wrong all at once. He knows there’s no going back and getting a ‘do over’ for that performance, so the best way to erase the memory of a bad fight is to go out and create a new vision for everyone to remember instead.
"It was definitely motivation. It was the only fight I can ever think of that I would say I was embarrassed about," Lauzon said. "Like that was a terrible fight, that was not me. So I want to put a stamp on this next fight, put an exclamation point on it and let people know that I’m here and let them see what they normally get out of me. That last fight was crap."
There were be several times this week when Lauzon is reminded of the fight against Johnson not to mention he’s now entering the fight against Danzig off back-to-back losses. Factor in Lauzon’s overall record of 1-3 in his last four fights and he’s targeting the matchup with Danzig as do or die.
It’s win or go home for Lauzon on Saturday night.
"I have to get a win," Lauzon said. "It doesn’t mean I’m going to go and fight a boring fight, but I definitely have to get away with a win.