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Tag: Joe Lauzon

Armchair Matchmaker: UFC on FOX 4 Edition


(Mike Swick and DaMarques Johnson combine their efforts to create not only the greatest punchface of 2012, but perhaps the greatest punchface of all time.) 

Aside from the disappointing and sudden end that came during the Phil Davis/Wagner Prado fight (which is tentatively being rescheduled for UFC on FX 5), last Saturday’s UFC on FOX event delivered in spades, featuring a main card that not only provided four highlight reel finishes for the night’s big winners, but a quartet of great fights that mainstream audiences had yet to witness on a FOX card. It more than likely came as a surprise to most of us that the card was as successful as it truly was, so with that in mind, we decided to dust off our beloved Armchair Matchmaker and pre-determine the fates of the aforementioned winners and losers from last weekend’s action. Enjoy, and let us know of any other possible matchups you’d like to see in the comments section.

Mauricio Rua: Despite smashing Brandon Vera’s title aspirations in rather brutal fashion, there is no denying that Shogun had some rather dicey moments leading up to the fourth round finish (that guillotine, for instance). After controlling Vera on the ground for the majority of the first, Shogun looked like he was fighting underwater by the end of the second. But as was the case in his previous loss to Dan Henderson, Shogun proved that what he lacks in cardio he more than makes up for in heart.

Still, it will take at least another “impressive” finish over an upper-echelon opponent before we are convinced that Shogun deserves another title shot. His total unwillingness to fight Glover Teixeira causes some pause for concern, and since it appears that Rashad Evans might be headed for 185 in the near future, we are left with only one suitable fit: Alexander Gustafsson. Last weekend basically cleared out the list of potential contenders at 205, and although we’d rather see Shogun and Lyoto Machida complete their trilogy for the right to take on the Bones/Hendo winner, we can’t hate on Dana White for following through on his promise. So if Rua/Gustafsson is all we’re left with, we’d be more than willing to watch these two throw down for a #1 contender spot. Let’s just hope Shogun packs his oxygen tank this time.

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UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera Aftermath: Breaking Even


Shogun was as brutal and entertaining as Machida, but not as impressive in Dana White’s eyes. Props: @raiseyourhorns

After watching the UFC’s first two lackluster efforts on Fox, as well as the organization’s entertaining third effort fail to draw decent ratings, it was no secret that the UFC needed to deliver with last night’s UFC on Fox 4. With “the most impressive fighter” earning the next title shot at light-heavyweight, fighters returning to the spotlight after time in the indie leagues and fighters returning from extended layoffs – not to mention the usual
mix of fighters attempting to make a name for themselves and guys literally fighting for their jobs- it was obvious that the UFC was hoping for something special from everybody involved. Factor in the fact that the UFC was already struggling with ratings before the abysmal UFC 149 just two weeks ago, and it would seem like a night full of stoppages was in order to keep the fans interested in future fights on Fox.

Simply put, this card delivered all that was expected of it and then some. Last night’s fights were exactly what I was hoping to get when the UFC first announced that they had inked a deal with Fox. It was exactly what I want to show the first time viewer who asks what this “MMA stuff” is that I write about. After a rough start with these free cards on Fox, the UFC now stands at an even 2-2.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that the main event bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon “The Truth” Vera lived up to its expectations because, let’s face it, there weren’t any. Before the fight, no one could make sense of the potential title implications behind a seemingly blatant squash fight, pitting an aging legend of our sport against a fighter who had been coasting on the brink of irrelevance. Whether we were given a quick, brutal knockout or five rounds of stalling and wheezing, few of us would have been surprised either way.

Rather, it’s fair to say that Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera ended up being one of the best fights that the UFC has put on Fox, and easily the most entertaining main event on the network. For four rounds, Shogun outpointed a focused, game Vera on his way to a fourth round TKO. While Vera certainly had his moments – don’t act like your jaw didn’t drop when he locked in that guillotine in the first round – in the end Shogun’s aggressive striking and takedowns were just too much for The Truth.

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UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera — Live Results & Commentary


(“Then it’s settled. I’ll crouch behind him, and you push him over.” / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)

I’ve got an idea: Instead of obsessing about who really deserves the next shot at the light-heavyweight title, let’s just kick back tonight and enjoy some free fights on FOX, two of which happen to feature former 205-pound champions (both Brazilian) facing off against hungry contenders (both American). Throw in a lightweight feature between Joe Lauzon and comeback kid Jamie Varner, and Mike Swick‘s first Octagon appearance in two-and-a-half years, and you’ve got a lineup that should hopefully take some of the sting off that $55 you blew on UFC 149.

The UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera main card kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man Elias Cepeda will be guiding you through the play-by-play after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and give us the play-by-play for your own lives in the comments section.

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‘UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera’ Preview and Predictions


(“You know the deal, guys. Whoever puts on the most impressive performance tonight gets the title shot.” [*unzips*] / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more photos from this set, click here.)

By Ryan Sarr

Who is going to win the “Jon Jones Sweepstakes?” That is the big question heading into the UFC’s fourth venture onto network television tonight. Dana White was so pissed about the boring, lackluster abomination that was the UFC 149 main card, that he decided to award a light-heavyweight title shot to the man who wins the “most impressively“ among the four main and co-main event participants. (Yes, even Brandon Vera)  The only problem with this scenario is that all four men — Shogun, Vera, Machida, and Bader — have each been decisively destroyed by Jon Jones in previous fights.

Nonetheless, this fight card is still very intriguing and offers many reasons to tune in.  First of all: It’s free on Fox. Second, all four main card bouts are likely to be exciting, fast-paced battles. It also marks the return of the very talented Mike Swick to the Octagon, who hasn’t fought in over two years. Finally, we have a chance to see a true Cinderella story play out once again as Jamie Varner gets a chance to take another huge step up in his comeback by fighting on a main card on network television. So, join me as I break down the main card for UFC on Fox 4 and offer my predictions as to who will emerge victorious.

Mike Swick (14-4, 9-3 UFC) vs. DaMarques Johnson (15-10, 4-4 UFC)

DaMarques Johnson said in the fight promo, “There’s a 50% chance I’m gonna win this fight, there’s a 100% chance that somebody’s taking a nap,” and Johnson has the track record to back it up: None of his fights in the UFC have gone the distance. The Jeremy Horn protégé has slick submission skills to go along with his heavy hands. We know Johnson will bring a fast-paced, exciting style into the Octagon, and his opponent Mike Swick will almost certainly do the same.

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[UFC on FOX EXCLUSIVE] Joe Lauzon Reflects on Unexpected Success And Dealing With Defeat

By Elias Cepeda 

Amid his national television appearances, eight wins in the UFC and record-setting submissions as a percentage of wins in the promotion, it might be hard to remember that Joe Lauzon is a regular guy who not too long ago worked a nine to five office job like lots of other Americans. Shortly after he graduated from college in 2006 with a computer science degree Lauzon got a shot in the UFC and the storyline for the Massachusetts native typically went like this: Smart college kid is fighting, for some reason.

Lauzon was supposed to be an opponent in his UFC debut, nothing more, for the returning former lightweight champion Jens Pulver. Instead, he stopped the legend in the first round and six years later “Baby Joe” is still at the top of the sport – fighting on this weekend’s UFC on FOX 4 card against former WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner.

The twenty eight year old is as surprised as anyone.

“I never expected it to go this far,” Lauzon says, speaking of the mixed martial arts career that he began back in high school. “I thought I’d get to do it for a year or so, maybe two years. Maybe I’d make a little bit of money and then I’d have to get back to working a real job. Now I’m dreading going back to a real job,” Lauzon laughs.

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With Terry Etim Injured, Jamie Varner Steps In for Another Massive Opportunity vs. Joe Lauzon


(“I call that punch the ‘parlay-wrecker’.”)

When Jamie Varner returned to the UFC last month as an injury replacement against Edson Barboza at UFC 146, virtually nobody gave him a chance. (We called it “the biggest UFC squash-match of the year,” if you want to get specific.) Barboza was the undefeated wheel-kickin’ buzzsaw in the lightweight division, and Varner was just a WEC washout who had lost a decision to Dakota Cochrane the previous year. Varner admitted that Barboza was literally the only guy in the UFC he didn’t want to fight. And yet, he stormed the Brazilian golden boy, knocking him out in one round, and earning another tour of duty in the UFC. The question is, can he do it again?

It was reported yesterday that Terry Etim has withdrawn from his UFC on FOX 4 match with Joe Lauzon — yeah, yeah, that godforsaken UFC injury bug, the world is ending, etc. — and will be replaced by Varner. Inconsistent as of late, Lauzon has gone 3-3 in his last six appearances, most recently getting knocked out by Anthony Pettis in February.

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CagePotato Roundtable #7: What Was the Greatest Upset in MMA History?


(Matt Serra: MMA’s patron saint of lost causes.)

With tomorrow night’s UFC 145 main event slated as a 4-1 squash match, the CP gang is talking upsets for today’s installment of the CagePotato Roundtable. If you have a topic-suggestion for a future Roundtable column, please send it to tips@cagepotato.com, and share your own MMA-upset testimonials in the comments section…

Doug “ReX13″ Richardson

This wasn’t a hard decision for me: My personal “greatest upset” would have to be Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko.

While I normally disagree with that crazy fanboy (hey Sodak) explaining to me how Fedor is an intelligent machine, sent back in time to destroy craniums and assassinate Andrei Arlovski, I completely wrote off Werdum here. Like, no way a guy who hung out in Minotauro Nogueira’s guard for six days is going to get tapped by a dude who calls himself “Go Horse” and smiles like this, right? So yeah, I gave him no chance of pulling out a victory. I could be on tape somewhere saying that he had no chance, in an obnoxiously opinionated manner. I may also be credited with one of the worst predictions in CP history.

So yeah, that one stung a little bit.

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Melvin Guillard to Be Strangled by Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148 and Other UFC Fight Booking Announcements


(Dammit! This was so much easier to escape in the video game!)  

On the heels of two straight submission via rear-naked choke losses courtesy of Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller, former “top contender” Melvin Guillard’s stock is probably at an all time low. The UFC, likely recognizing Melvin’s need to step up his ground game or GTFO, are not cutting him any slack, as they have paired him against 3rd degree (uh-oh) BJJ black belt (not good) under Royler Gracie (dear God) Fabricio Camoes. The worst part: Camoes is coming off a submission by rear-naked choke victory at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller.

Game. Set. Soon.

Look, we’ve got mad respect for Melvin Guillard; how can you not love someone whose idea of avoiding the takedown is repeatedly throwing flying knees? But this does not look good for “The Young Assassin,” who may very well get the boot if he is submitted for the seventh time in his UFC career come July 7th. Come on Zuffa, you can’t even give him some low-level nobody to squash first?

Matter of fact, it looks to us like the UFC is trying to punish each and every member of The Blackzilians for Anthony Johnson’s colossal mistake. Have the Zuffa attorneys not informed DW and Joe Silva that judging a certain group of people based on one isolated incident is considered profiling, and could lead to a huge backlash from said group? If we could think of any examples from American history, say from around the 1960′s, that could possibly help prove this point, we would. Unfortunately, no such example exists. Perhaps we’re just lucky.

Join us after the jump for a ton of fight booking news…

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Joe Lauzon vs. Terry Etim Booked for UFC on Fox 4 in August


(Etim and Lauzon, seen here demonstrating the Tomax and Xamot effect.) 

Two lightweights will be looking to bounce back from horrific, nightmare-inducing losses and vie for the love of their malnourished alien overlord when Joe Lauzon takes on Terry Etim at UFC on Fox 4, which goes down on August 4th from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The last time we saw Etim in action, he fell victim to, and in fact helped spawn the idea behind, the “Falling Tree” knockout, when he was leveled via a spinning heel-kick compliments of Edson Barboza at UFC 142. The fight was only Etim’s second in as many years, as he spent most of the 2010-2011 season nursing a rib injury that forced him out of a match with, you guessed it, Joe Lauzon, at UFC 118. He was replaced by Gabe Rudiger for that event, and we all know how that ended up. Etim finally made his return at UFC 138 in England, where he submitted Edward Faaloloto with a guillotine in just 16 seconds. The victory earned Etim his fourth “Submission of the Night” award in his ten fight career under the Zuffa banner.

Lauzon is also coming off a devastating head kick KO loss– his coming against top lightweight contender Anthony Pettis in their main card scrap at UFC 144. Prior to that, Lauzon had put together a two fight win streak over Kurt Warburton (via kimura) at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry and Melvin Guillard (via rear-naked choke) at UFC 136. Lauzon has never lost two in a row in his UFC career, and Etim hasn’t since dropping back-to-back contests to Gleison Tibau and Rich Clementi at UFC 75 and 84, respectively.

I feel compelled to reiterate that the similarities between these two is nothing short of suspect. Both are coming off head kick knockout losses, both are SOTN savants, and both look like the offspring of Christopher Walken and a hairless Aye-Aye. Could it be that these two were separated at birth, destined to fight for the right to rule all of mankind somewhere down the road? Or are these mere coincidences? I suppose it all really depends on which type of person you are.

While you take a moment to reconsider everything your futile religion taught you to believe, join us after the jump for more fight booking news…

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FOTY Alert: Anthony Pettis Considering a Drop to 145 to Face Jose Aldo


(For just three cents a day, you can help provide this child with everything he needs to earn a title shot.) 

You’ve got to understand Anthony “Showtime” Pettis‘ frustration. After winning the final WEC Lighweight Championship by defeating current UFC Lightweight Champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson back at WEC 53, many believed he would be on the short list of contenders to face then UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar. When Edgar fought to a draw with Gray Maynard less than a month after WEC 53, Pettis’ title hopes would be put on the backburner. A UD loss via dry humping and shoulder-strikes to Clay Guida at the TUF 13 Finale in June of 2011 would all but completely derail those championship aspirations.

Cut to February of 2012. After defeating Maynard via fourth round TKO in their rematch, Edgar would face off against arguably his toughest challenge to date, former WEC champion Ben Henderson, who was riding a four fight win streak since losing to Pettis. The event was UFC 144, and kicking off the main card would be an intriguing match-up between Pettis and Joe Lauzon. “Showtime” would live up to his nickname, steamrolling Lauzon with a head kick knockout in just under two minutes, and Henderson would clearly defeat Edgar by unanimous decision. Though Pettis had only scored two straight in the octagon, Dana was damn near forcing Edgar to drop to 145 and face Jose Aldo, so it seemed as if we were destined for Pettis/Henderson II.

But then, it happened. Out of nowhere, Edgar was granted a rematch with Henderson, and Pettis once again found himself screwed out of yet another title shot, against a man he had beaten in a title fight nonetheless. So perhaps the recent comments made by “Showtime’s” manager are not without merit. Here’s what Ariel Helwani said during an episode of UFC tonight after speaking with Pettis’ manager:

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