UFC Phoenix Preview: Joe Lauzon vs. Marcin Held

UFC Fight Night 103 is set to take place in Phoenix this Sunday night. The must watch fight of the card is not the main event, but the co-main event, where UFC veteran Joe Lauzon will take on relative newcomer Marcin Held.

UFC Phoenix is the return of MMA legend BJ Penn against super-striker Yair Rodriguez. This fight has potential but might leave fans wanting more. It’s no secret that Penn is a little past his prime. On the flip-side, Yair Rodriguez has yet to be tested. This fight is a mystery, and expectations should be low going into this one.

With that said, the most interesting fight on the main card is Joe Lauzon vs. Marcin Held. Lauzon is a walking post-fight bonus and Held is looking to get his first UFC win. This fight has slobber-knocker written all over it. Both fighters have excellent jiu-jitsu (Lauzon has a brown belt; Held is a black belt) so if the fight hits the ground it will get really technical.

Joe Lauzon has been in the UFC since 2006, making him an 11-year veteran in the promotion. Coincidentally, he is one of the least talked-about fighters in the UFC. This is ironic as Lauzon holds the UFC record for post-fight bonuses at 15, which has led to a strong following of hardcore fans.

He has won Submission of the Night a record six times, Fight of the Night seven times, Knockout of the Night once, and Performance of the Night once. The Massachusetts native has 11 finishes total in the UFC Lightweight division, which is a record.

He won Fight of the Year in 2012 for his war with Jim Miller, and also won Fight of the Year at the World MMA Awards for his other 2012 fight with Jamie Varner. With all of these accolades, it’s a wonder why not as many people are high on Joe Lauzon. Win or lose, it is always a treat to watch Lauzon step into the Octagon. His heart and desire to put on a show are second to none.

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On the opposite side of the Octagon, 24-year-old Marcin Held from Poland looks to win in his second UFC bout. His only other UFC Fight is a unanimous decision loss to Diego Sanchez. Held had a pretty successful run in Bellator from 2011 to May of 2016. During that span, he posted a record of 11-2 with losses coming from ex-champion Will Brooks and Dave Jensen. Six of his 11 wins came by way of submission, one by way of knockout.

Both fighters are known for their finishing ability which is a good sign for fight fans. Combine Lauzon’s pedigree of finding ways to win 50,000 dollars at the end of a fight and Held’s desire to get his first Octagon win, the UFC hit a homerun with this matchup. This fight is the most interesting one on the card and has the potential to be an incredibly early Fight of the Year candidate.

Prediction: Lauzon’s experience is too much for Held. While Held has more experience than the average 24-year-old fighter, it is nothing compared to Lauzon’s 11 years of UFC experience. After almost two full rounds of an entertaining battle, Lauzon will put Held away. Lauzon needs the win after being robbed by Jim Miller in his last fight. Better luck next time, Held.

The Fox Sports 1 for prelims start at 8:00 p.m. EST, the main card starts at 10 on the same network. If you can’t catch the fights follow Cage Pages for updates on Fight Night.

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