Ultimate Fighter veteran Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (20-6) will make his tenth appearance in the Octagon this Saturday night when he meets Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (29-8-2) at UFC 136 in Houston.
The 27-year-old will look to play the role of spoiler against the knockout artist, as Guillard has been deemed one of the next in line to get a title shot.
A serious challenge lies ahead of the Bridgewater, Mass., native and he feels that Guillard has talked far too much about the future and hasn’t focused nearly enough on their bout.
“All the pressure is on him from the start,” Lauzon told MMAWeekly Radio.
“Going into this fight, he’s the betting favorite, he’s the favorite in this fight. He’s the guy coming off five-to-six wins; he’s the guy pining away for a title shot, the guy calling himself the champ. All the pressure is on him.
“If I go out there and lose the fight, well you know what, Melvin was supposed to beat me, but there is a huge upside in the fact that I could go out there and win. For him, it’s all downside. He’s supposed to beat me, but I think I’m always dangerous, I’m always a submission threat, so it’s a tough fight for him too, especially when his kryptonite has always been submissions.”
Lauzon believes that the key to beating an explosive and dynamic striker like Guillard is to play with the fire that is Guillard’s striking abilities. In Guillard’s prior fights, Lauzon believes that some fighters have shot their takedowns from way too far out and were far too fearful to get off their strikes due to Guillard’s power. For “J-Lau” to emerge victorious, he feels that he has to come at Guillard head-on and take the fight to the ground when he sees an opening to capitalize on.
“There’s no better way to get knocked out than to be scared to punch and just shoot from too far away. It’s how close can you put the hand to the flame before you get burned and that’s going to be thing with Melvin. We’re not going to shoot from a mile away; we’re going to have to make our way in and deal with him like that.
“The last time that, that was the game plan was back at the Pulver fight. A guy that was thought to have much better stand-up than me and we’re going to look to throw a couple of punches and get inside because we’re worried about the power and then we ended up knocking him out. I did a lot of boxing, I did a lot of wrestling, and I did a lot of jiu-jitsu, so wherever the fight goes, I’m going to be ready to go.”