UFC 144: Go Ahead, Overlook Joe Lauzon’s Boxing

February 24, 2012

For several years now, fans, fighters, and pundits have underestimated Joe Lauzon’s ability as a striker.

As the saying goes, “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

Lauzon made his debut against former lightweight champion and dangerous striker Jens Pulver at UFC 63. He wasn’t even given a chance in that fight.  Nobody thought much of anything of the Bridgewater, Mass., native, but he quickly dispatched Pulver, knocking him out in the first round.

Moving forward to UFC 136, it was much the same scenario against former top contender Melvin Guillard.  The 27-year-old wasn’t given a chance and it was thought that another dangerous striker was just going to plow right through him.  Lauzon, however, countered Guillard and had him rocked on the feet before he submitted Guillard with a rear-naked-choke.

Now, at UFC 144, against another dangerous striker in Anthony Pettis, it is no different.  Not many people are picking Lauzon to win and even a lot of the fans who are picking him to win aren’t giving him a chance on the feet, but Lauzon plans to continue to utilize his boxing as a game changer.

“I change their mind sometimes,” Lauzon said.

“I’ll always be a stronger grappler, but I can definitely punch.  I’m definitely working on my boxing, my stand-up, and wrestling and my takedowns and all that kind of stuff.  I’m kind of at that point where I can play it either way and I’m just as comfortable.  I’m always trying to work on my stand-up, and I’m always trying to raise that level a little bit higher.”

In preparation for his upcoming bout at UFC 144 against Anthony Pettis, you can’t expect the former computer technician to not be carefully reading his opponent.  He knows what difficult challenges lie ahead of him and looks forward to mixing it up in a tough battle.

“You can definitely tell he’s constantly working on getting better.  Everyone knows him for that famous showtime kick, but I think he’s just as good on the ground. I think he’s very comfortable on his back. I think he’s got great jiu-jtisu. I think he’s very well rounded. I think he’s playing that game a little bit where he is focusing on his stand-up, but he’s great off his back.  I’m looking forward to the fight, I want to see how it goes.”

If Pettis ignores history Sunday morning in Japan, and looks past the hands of Lauzon, we could very well see another upset and history will repeat itself yet again at UFC 144.

Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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