by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com

Stepping out of the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Boston<br /> native Joe Lauzon has become a fan favorite with his consist




out of the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Boston native Joe Lauzon has
become a fan favorite with his consistent interaction with fans over the
internet and his exciting style in the Octagon whenever he competes.


Wednesday night, he faces the toughest test of his career, as he will find a
familiar Boston face staring straight back at him. Kenny Florian opposes him in
the main event of the UFC Fight Night event leading into the seventh season of
The Ultimate Fighter.


On paper,
the two lightweights are very similar fighters, but due to Florian’s current
run he is the heavy favorite going in, but don’t tell Lauzon that.


seems to think I’m this huge underdog and everything else. I see the fight
being pretty even,” said Lauzon in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I
really don’t see that either one of us has an enormous advantage over the other
one anywhere. I think in the stand-up, I have better hands. I think Kenny has
the better kicking. I think I’m a little bit stronger, I think he has a little
better cardio. His jiu-jitsu, he’s got really slick jiu-jitsu, but it’s MMA. I
think I have better ground and pound. I think it’s a pretty even fight.”


Outside of
the match-up, many other factors have been brought up to Lauzon in the
pre-fight hype leading into the event. One such subject is Florian’s vast
experience in high level fights, having headlined four UFC Fight Night’s before
this one, but Lauzon isn’t worried about being a part of the main event.


“It’s the
main event on a really big card, but when it comes fight time it doesn’t matter
if it’s the first fight or if it’s the last fight,” Lauzon stated. “Being the
main event, it’s cool for all the media and the attention, but when it comes
down to it me and Kenny have to fight and whoever wins, wins. It really
doesn’t matter that it’s a main event.”


ready for this fight, he once again traveled to Hawaii to work with UFC
lightweight champion B.J. Penn, who has become somewhat of a mentor to the
young fighter. The lessons are tough, but Penn has taught Lauzon a lot in
their short time together.


“One of the
things I definitely kind of picked up from B.J. is every single time he shows
me something, he’s like ‘this is the best, this is the best.’ No matter what
you do, you believe it, you work with it and you put in the time to perfect it.
It’s going to work for you,” he said about his time with Penn.


“I used to
have the mentality that some moves would work for me, others wouldn’t. If it
didn’t work so well in the beginning, I wouldn’t discard it, but I wouldn’t put
as much time into it. I definitely think I’m learning to give things more of a
second chance and put the time into them before I just kind of blow them off.”


mentioned previously, the two fighters are actually fairly similar with their
aggressive style and overall background, and Lauzon understands the dangers
Florian presents for this fight.


“He sets
the pace really well. He kicks really hard, really fast, you know, great kicks.
Obviously, he’s slicing people up with those elbows. He’s a black belt in
jiu-jitsu. He’s rear naked choked a bunch of people. He’s got a total package.
He’s got the stand-up, got the cardio, got the ground. He’s dangerous


A fast pace
is expected when Lauzon and Florian finally clash on Wednesday night and the
first 60 seconds could tell the tale when it’s all said and done.


“I think
the opening minute of the fight is going to dictate the pace for the rest of
the fight,” Lauzon commented. “I think we’re both going to come out
aggressive. It could be a situation where we both come out aggressive and we
both back off and be more cautious. It could be where we both come out and try
to overwhelm the other; one of us gets the upper hand. I really do think the
opening minute could dictate the rest of the fight.”


Lauzon will
look to set his pace when he faces Florian in the main event of UFC Fight Night
13 on Wednesday night in Colorado.