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29 Mar 2018

Joe Lauzon: A legend out for redemption

(Photo Credit: Cpl. Stephen McGinnis)

The UFC has put on more events with Joe Lauzon as a member than without him. He stepped into the octagon for the first time at 22 years of age in 2006 and has thrown down 25 times in the last 12 years for the organization. After two consecutive losses, Lauzon will go into UFC 223 with a must-win attitude when he faces Chris Gruetzemacher.

A staple in the lightweight division

Joe Lauzon (27-14) first stepped into the octagon in 2006 at UFC 63. He earned a knockout victory over Jens Pulver and followed it up with two more wins in 2007 to move to 3-0 in the UFC. His first loss in the octagon came against Kenny Florian in 2008 but Lauzon rebounded nicely with two more wins over Kyle Bradley and Jeremy Stephens. During his tenure in the UFC. Joe Lauzon has beaten some high-profile names. He has taken out Michael Chiesa, Takanori Gomi, and Diego Sanchez in recent years, proving his place among the lightweight elite. 

Despite holding a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, Lauzon is a man to be feared on the mat. He has finished 17 of his 27 wins by submission, including earning seven of those finishes in the UFC. Six of those earned him Submission of the Night bonuses. Overall, Lauzon has earned 15 post-fight bonuses from the UFC which is tied with Nate Diaz for the most in UFC history. He also holds seven fight of the night bonuses and the record for the most finishes in the history of the lightweight division with 11. It is easy to see why Lauzon is such a beloved member of the MMA community. 

Chasing a ranking

Despite his outstanding past, Joe Lauzon will need to put together a run to see a number next to his name in such a deep lightweight division. He is coming off two straight losses to Stevie Ray and Clay Guida. His most recent fight against Guida ended with a flurry of punches that dropped Lauzon in just over a minute. The veteran Lauzon is mentally strong and ready to bounce back next Saturday against Chris Gruetzemacher (13-3). Gruetzemacher is coming off two losses of his own and will be just as desperate for a win. Both of those losses came by submission so if Lauzon can take this fight to the mat, we could see yet another spectacular submission. 

During his 12 years in the UFC, Joe Lauzon has never fought for a belt. He has never even fought in a title eliminator but he is still one of the most admired men in the UFC. Joe Lauzon has been around for over 150 pay-per-view events and represents what the UFC stands for. Fans know that whenever Joe Lauzon steps in the octagon, he will give it his all and put on a show. He always fights with the grit and determination that every fighter strives for. With the ability to sleep his opponent with a single punch or finish things on the ground, Lauzon is a fighter's fighter. No matter what happens next Saturday, Lauzon is sure to bring his all. 

Will Joe Lauzon get the win over Chris Gruetzemacher? Leave a comment below.