UFC on Fox: Lauzon shakes up lightweight division
Joe Lauzon this weekend cemented himself in the record books after choking out Jamie Varner late in the third round of his UFC on Fox bout, earning him both fight of the night and submission of the night bonus checks.
This brings the Massachusetts fighter a total of eleven bonuses in just 13 fights, covering his entire career in the UFC, beginning with his UFC debut and KO of Jens Pulver back at UFC 63 in 2006.
The previous record was 10 bonuses, held by Chris Lytle who earned the record in 20 fights. What is also incredible is that the fighter many consider the greatest of all-time Anderson Silva only has nine bonuses against his name.
While Lauzon gathers up checks, the lightweight division consistently changes with the UFC being spoilt for choice in lightweight contenders but Lauzon consistently seems to be just outside the contention circle.
As underdog going into his bout back in October 2011 with the dangerous Melvin Guillard, Lauzon exploited a hole in Guillard’s ground game to submit the fighter by rear naked choke (RNC) in just 47 seconds of Round 1. Guillard has since gone on to record another RNC loss against Jim Miller and recently a win in July 2012 against Fabricio Camoes which has landed him a spot this weekend against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Lauzon is sitting within top rankings with his consistent exciting bouts and his path to title contention should be clearer once the title bout between lightweight champion Benson Henderson and previous champ Frankie Edgar is carried out this weekend at UFC 150 in Denver.
Next in line for the lightweight contender crown is Nate Diaz, who has collected some big wins and improving his all-round fight game against the likes of Takanori Gomi, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Jim Miller. The younger Diaz has really come into his own since dropping from welterweight after his loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 129.
After Nate, how the division stands is anyone’s guess. Standouts in the division include Anthony “Showtime” Pettis who has been sitting in the wings since the WEC dissolved into the bigger promotion and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has come back to form after his loss late last year against Nate Diaz at UFC 141.
But as per this past weekend, Lauzon shouldn’t be overlooked; he has shown a great sense of fight dynamic and aggression that would bring a unique level of excitement and skill in a title fight.
This would really give the division a much needed push into the spotlight especially since we have continuously seen the same fights for the belt (due to rematches) since 2010.