Aussie George Sotiropoulos, racing towards a lightweight title shot, was nearly sent rocketing off course at UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida in Detroit on Saturday night.
Lauzon came out fast and furious rocking Sotiropoulos throughout the first round. Lauzon opened with powerful right hands, Thai clinched and drove home knees to the midsection, sprawled takedown attempts an returned fire.
Sotiropoulos finally managed some offense near the end of the round, moving his way to full mount. Lauzon, however, scrambled out and landed another wild flurry of elbows from side control before the bell.
Just as furiously as Lauzon opened the fight, he faded away at the bell for round two. Lauzon was the complete opposite of his round one self, standing in front of Sotiropoulos, taking whatever the Aussie dished out.
Sotiropoulos took Lauzon to the mat, immediately starting work from side control, shifting to north-south position, missing Kimura and armbar attempts from Lauzon’s right side. He never relented, quickly moving to Lauzon’s other side and finishing him with a Kimura on the left arm.
“I weathered the storm and I knew I’d find my range,” Sotiropoulos said confidently after the fight.
“This is for you guys in Australia. I’m gonna see you guys Feb. 27 down under,” he added, referring the UFC’s return trip to Sydney for UFC 127. “I want to face the best. I want to make my case for the belt.”