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Following Fight Night 50 Barnburner, Joe Lauzon and Michael Chiesa Trade Barbs Online

(“Rematches are dumb. #ufcfightnight.” via Lauzon’s Instagram.)

Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa was as predictable as it was unexpected, if that makes any sense. Allow me to explain. The Fight Night 50 main card opener that pitted the TUF 5 alum against the TUF 15 winner was predictable in the way that all Joe Lauzon fights are: It was a back-and-forth, ferociously paced banger that brought the crowd to life from the very moment it started. There’s a reason why Lauzon has scored a UFC record 13 fight bonuses, and his most recent performance was no exception.

The fight’s ending was unexpected, however, in that Lauzon emerged victorious via TKO — something he hasn’t accomplished since 2008 — and that said TKO came due to the doctor’s intervention. As you might expect, Chiesa was upset with the decision and immediately took to Twitter to protest the stoppage while demanding an immediate rematch.

“Out of all the bloody three-round wars I’ve seen … Diego, Lauzon and many others, why the hell did they stop my fight?” asked Chiesa. “I was never beat, my will was never broken, I was winning that fight. I demand a rematch before the year ends. I hope you all were entertained, you guys got robbed as much as me. That fight was going to be a three-round war. We all got robbed.”

Lauzon responded shortly thereafter with the above Instagram post, showing that not only had all 3 judges had scored the first round for him, but stating his belief that “rematches are dumb.” That led to this exchange between the two lightweights on Twitter:

Now 0-2 against Lauzon thanks to that sweet burn, Chiesa took to the media to vent his frustrations with the stoppage, telling MMAJunkie that he would even being willing to give up the $50,000 “Fight of the Night” money he earned in order to receive a rematch.

Everyone’s like, ‘Cheer up, you got the bonus.’ I don’t care. I would give that $50,000 back just to be able to go the rest of the fight.

It just upsets me. I’m not taking a shot at the commission, but I feel like they should have at least given me through the round. Herb did his job coming in and checking the cut, but we train three months for one moment. To take it away from me in a fight where I was never out of the fight isn’t right.

Again, it’s easy to see where Chiesa is coming from. The loss to Lauzon snapped a two-fight win streak for the TUF 15 winner, whose only professional loss prior to last weekend came at the hands of former Strikeforce title challenger Jorge Masvidal in July of 2013. But it’s easy to claim that you’d hand over 50K when the option isn’t actually on the table, which is why Lauzon proceed to grant Chiesa his rematch on Instagram this morning under one condition: Chiesa put his money where his mouth is.

“Accept the loss like a man, or the @UFC can send me your FoTN check and we do it again,” wrote Lauzon.

I think we can all agree that immediate rematches are best when saved for title fights, and even then often seem rushed and/or doomed to fail (*cough* Dillashaw-Barao *cough*). In the case of Lauzon-Chiesa, a rematch seems especially impractical — it’s not like Chiesa suffered his cut from an accidental headbutt ala Bonnar-KSos 1. He received it while eating a flurry of knees and punches, and like Lauzon pointed to, all three of the judges had scored the first round for him. Simply put, it does not appear as if Chiesa was exactly “robbed” like he claims.

A rematch would do next to nothing for Lauzon, but God love the kid, he’s willing to accept one for the mere price of Chiesa’s bonus check. Because Joe Lauzon loves bonus checks. He likes the smell of freshly printed paper. He loves the Arabic Typesetting font. Hell, Lauzon even likes it when he cuts himself between the thumb and forefinger while opening a bonus check, and it’s that kind of attitude that has made “J-Lau” the UFC’s first billionaire.

The ball is now in Chiesa’s court, in any case. In the meantime, we guess he’ll just have to bite his tongue and accept that…

-J. Jones

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