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Two Weeks Before UFC 114 Fight, Dan Lauzon Breaks With Brother Over Training Dispute


(Joe Lauzon, Dan Lauzon, and Narcoleptic Larry pose for a picture before Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Photo courtesy of JoeLauzon.com.)

When Dan Lauzon steps into the Octagon at UFC 114 on May 29th — where he’s scheduled to face TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero — he will do so without three longtime coaches in his corner. Due to a dispute over Dan’s commitment to training, his brother Joe as well as his trainers Joe Pomfret and Steve Maze will not be traveling to the fight in Las Vegas from their home base in Bridgewater. As the story goes, Dan was given an ultimatum a month ago to shape up and start training 10-11 times per week; when he didn’t, his team broke ties with him. Dan first went public with the story earlier this week, telling the Boston Herald:

"I don’t really know what I did to deserve this. I wouldn’t do that to anybody. I wouldn’t do that to my brother, I wouldn’t do that to anyone in my gym. It’s not right…In my eyes, I was doing everything right. I was making it to the gym; I was training hard two times a day. I was doing everything right. I was completely blown away…

Joe Pomfret is somebody I look at like a father, and he is going to do this to me? You’re going to tell me you can’t (work my corner) and you’re sending me out to Vegas alone for one of my biggest fights? I was completely hurt by it, especially my brother Joe. I don’t think anybody would ever do that to their brother. I can’t think of anyone else that would ever do that to their brother and just tell them, ‘Hey, you’re on your own.’”



Dan will finish his training at Lauzon MMA, but vows to move elsewhere after the fight. For UFC 114, he has recruited WEC featherweight standout Josh Grispi, TUF 7 vet John Clarke, and training partner Brandon Chase to corner him in Vegas.

Of course, J-Lau has his own side of the story. To explain why he turned his back on his brother before a potential "win or get screwed" fight in the UFC, Joe posted a blog entry titled "So Frustrating" on JoeLauzon.com. Some highlights:

Dealing with family can be really tough sometimes. When you mix business and family… it’s an absolute nightmare. You make a tough decision and its cold. You go easy on someone and they are only treated that way because they are family. I am usually tough on Dan, but it’s because I love him and want what’s best for him. I know that me being easy on him in training is not going to help him when there is someone across the cage from him trying with everything they have to hurt him.

I always push Dan hard when it comes to training. In my eyes, and in the eyes of our coaches, Dan has never put in an honest training camp. He has strung together 3 or 4 good weeks here and there… but never anything any longer. It’s always him rushing at the end to cram a 12 weeks camp into 3. Then injuries and other things pop up and it doesn’t go so well. When he was fighting locally, he would get away with it. At the UFC level, that just doesn’t cut it.

With Dan, it’s always “something”. You have never seen someone that has no job because they are a “full-time fighter” that trains less. There is a list a mile long of things he has to do… but training is usually way down the list. If it’s not that he is too busy… it’s him getting a new tattoo in the middle of training camp… which either doesn’t let him train or greatly limits what he can do. This has happened for nearly half a dozen fights in a row now.

As coaches, we noticed the pattern right away and tried everything to change it. We would try and stay on his ass about training and that didn’t work. We would try positive reinforcement and that didn’t work. I tried to get him to come out to Hawaii with me for 3 weeks to train with BJ Penn and that didn’t work.

When Dan was 14 to 17, he trained like a mad man. He was in the gym all the time, but he is 22 now and that fire he once had is long gone. When he is in the gym, he comes in and works hard. He does a great job helping guys with technical things and teaching more subtle things as well. Unfortunately, he is never in the gym. If he has a fight, he is in sparingly. If he doesn’t have a fight he is an absolute ghost.

Dan was training at our place 3 or 4 times a week… and 2 or 3 of those times were boxing and the other was MMA. He would say he was going to other schools to train too, but the stories didn’t always check out. He would say “oh, I went to so and so last night and had great work with so and so”. I would double check and they would tell me “I was there all night and Dan definitely” wasn’t there. We would confront Dan on it and he would confess and say “okay, I didn’t train but I didn’t want you on my ass about it”. Other times he would actually go, but wouldn’t go and train hard. He would just go and roll around and take it easy. There are times to go and train hard and times to take it easy. Dan was blowing off hard nights at our place for easy nights at another places. It wasn’t that there weren’t good guys there… there definitely were… he just wasn’t pushing himself. I have amateur fighters that train way more than Danny.

Now we gave Dan an ultimatum. Joe Pomfret, Steve Maze and I knew we all had to act a single unit. This was all or nothing and we all used the same language and tone with him so there was no misunderstanding. We were very clear that if he failed to train 10 or 11 times a week, we were not going to corner for him. It’s not fair that we all make time for him in Vegas when he can’t do his job beforehand and train. This all happened maybe 10 or so weeks out from the fights. We were clear and beat the point into the ground so there was no misunderstanding…Well… weeks went by and Dan has upped his training a little bit… but I would say on his best week he was training around 6 times a week… but he averaged closer to 4 times a week. I don’t think he hit 10 times once in any given week. I don’t think he even hit 8. This was better than he had been doing prior… but definitely not fulfilling what we had said we needed. Therefore, in all of our eyes, we were not going to corner for him.

We never wanted to hurt Dan and we all want him to win. We had to take a such a tough stand though because he refused to change. We had exhausted every other option and this was the only thing left for us to try. This has been the most frustrating task of my life… because you can’t help someone that won’t help themselves. When you run around town telling people you are a professional fighter in the UFC… you have to train like one. I had really hoped Dan would see the situation for what it was… but it’s all twisted and he just has a delusional view of things.

I didn’t want to come out with this at all. I wanted it to be quiet and was hoping Dan would win the fight and see the mistakes and get back on track. To be honest though, I am a little relieved. I am so sick of lying to people when they ask how Dan’s training is going. All I could say was “Dan is doing good… he is training hard”. I should have been saying “I don’t know… I never see him in the gym”. I wish none of this even came out… but it did and I am disgusted by him dragging all of our names through the mud. I have bent over backwards for Dan and opened so many doors and helped him out so many times. Joe Pomfret has treated Dan like his own son and no one has done more for Danny that that guy… and Danny acts like this. It’s all pretty disappointing… but thats how it goes. I wouldn’t put up with any of this with anyone else at my gym, and I am no longer putting up with it with Dan.

So what do you think? Was Joe right to get tough with his brother, or should he have supported Dan no matter what?

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kingmantis- May 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm
Dan Lauzon vs. Jason Guida: Battle of the Bums!
Seoul Brother- May 20, 2010 at 4:46 am
@budsellers: I agree with you that "grown men do not sell each other out like this," however Dan Lauzon had more than ample time in the context of this fight to show that he is ia "grown man," in addition to being aware of the problems of mixing blood with family. If this were strictly a business issue, Dan Lauzon would have been cut a long fucking time ago. Joe more than likely gave him much more courtesy than he deserved simply because of what vagina they both came out of. I feel sorry for Joe, because not only does he have to turn his back on someone who's been training at his camp, but his own brother. This was not strictly his decision to make. By virtue of his own shortcomings as a man and as a fighter, Dan played his part in this as well. Dan Lauzon is a pathetic example of a fighter, a brother, and a man. Remember - Dan had plenty of time an opportunities both within the context of his upcoming fight as well as in the context of something more important - his family - to show that he is serious. Is it Joe's fault that he couldn't see that? HELL FUCKING NO.

Now,as far as your umbrage at "being attacked" online, especially here where there are more random shots than in a John Woo movie, I'd like to offer the advice that you not take shit so seriously. Christ, we all take the piss out of eachother here, and as far as I can see, there isn't one fucking person here who hasn't taken a shot. Unless you're willing to turn this into a mongolian clusterfuck of a firefight, stand down, cease fire, and be the bigger man.
budsellers- May 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm
karma - i was attempting to communicate that grown men do not sell eachother out like this. if you disagree that is fine, but attacking people on the internet is just lame. by the way, i mostly agree with your points that were on topic.
stopdrinkingpee- May 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm
Dan Lauzon says one thing, everyone who trains him says something else. This isn't one guy's word against another's, this is one dude blatantly lying.

Dan is obviously trying to deflect blame from himself, trying to make himself not look like the bad guy; why the hell would Joe and the cornermen make that up? They dropped him for no reason and then made up a lie about his training habits to cover their asses? Yeah, right.

Dan Lauzon fakes groin shots, doesn't train hard, and lies when people who tried to help him stop acting as facilitators. What a turd.
Almost North- May 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm
I think Shamrock: The Next Generation will be the highest rated show ever
KarmaAteMyCat- May 19, 2010 at 9:11 am
hmmm
Seoul Brother- May 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Anytime you mix business with family, there's a good chance someone's gonna end up like Michael, and someone's gonna end up like Fredo. That's a goddamned fact. If these two guys weren't related, this wouldn't be an issue. You'd have a douchebag slacker and a far superior fighter, Smeagol. If it's Smeagol's joint, it's his fucking rules.

He gave Douchebag Dan all the goddamned warning over time to straighten up and fly the fuck right, and DD screwed it up. We're talking "Ken and Frank Shamrock: The Next Generation"-level fuck up. I certainly hope Dan ends up ok, but somehow I have a feeling him and War Machine are gonna headline a show together...only not in the way any of us would like.

KarmaAteMyCat: I'm with you, dude.
El Famous Burrito: Goddamn, that was funny.
KarmaAteMyCat- May 19, 2010 at 8:20 am

hmm.
Jubbie- May 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm
budsellers, it's hard to side with Dan here because he was told all this beforehand. He was given an ultimatum. He simply ignored it, probably thinking he could weasel his way out of it using his bro card.
BONGTAR- May 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm
i dont give a shit.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm
The internet: the world's greatest semi-anonymous forum for airing out your dirty laundry.

Joe's just smug because he has all that money socked away from doing those Batboy photo shoots for the Weekly World News. The UFC should have a stipend in their contracts for new tattoos. We all know Dana likes his boys with a six-pack and fresh ink, the extreme look makes him feel so explosive he can hardly contain himself.
just some dong- May 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm
As someone who's struggled to help a younger sibling get their life together for many years now, I can feel some of Joe's pain here. It's a constant strain and burden because you care about that person so much, and all you want is for them to WANT to succeed - regardless of whether or not they do. He's not just trying to help his bro win a fight; he's trying to get him to realize some invaluable life lessons. I hope the message sinks through to Dan sooner rather than later.

That said, bet the farm on Efrain!
Ratel- May 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm
I gotta go with Joe Bananas:

"When you are a pro and you have a job that needs to be done you put in the proper time and hard work. If anybody showed up to their job only a few times a week and then did their work half assed they would get fired."

He summed it up just fine without making a novel out of it.
justscrappin- May 19, 2010 at 10:59 am
The big thing is...you have to separate business..and everyday life. I would definitely have done what Joe did...but I would have let Dan know..I still love him..we are still brothers...but I can no longer represent you while you aren't doing what your supposed to, to succeed. You don't have to sit there and coddle him...or act like he is out of the family just cuz he didn't dedicate himself to fighting. There are more important things in this world then fighting. It sounds like Dan isn't really going to make it his career...so he needs to really think about what he wants...and Joe no longer being there is the best thing...cuz now it is up to him to make his own way. As long as this issue doesn't run into their families gatherings...like Joe and Dan throwing down at Thanksgiving...lol...then everything should be resolved eventually. The kid had a ton of potential..he is still super young...we saw Bj go through a period of demotivation..and bounce back...this kid could too. He just needs to do it on his own this time instead of relying on big bro.
Nut Puncher 9000- May 19, 2010 at 10:53 am
In the end, all of the chaos caused by this shit will lead to more of a danger for Dan than lack of intense training.

The mental game is just as important as the physical.
Nut Puncher 9000- May 19, 2010 at 10:49 am
Just my opinion, but Joe should stay the fuck out of Dan's Business. Joe has enough shit to worry about as a UFC fighter. How you decide to prepare for a fight is your business. The coaches and your brother can disagree with your methods but ultimately you are the one stepping in the cage.

Joe knows that Dan will, most likely, have to learn this lesson the hard way.

Ive heard a Highlight reel KO will make you reconsider your training...
cecils_pupils- May 19, 2010 at 10:09 am
It's settled then. Lauzon vs. Lauzon for UFC in Boston.
KarmaAteMyCat- May 19, 2010 at 9:39 am
@ThePotatoNation This is why I choose to come to this website because even though we make jokes about Lighting babys on fire and raping nuns. We all at the end of the day look at the sport objectively, well most of us anyhow. Thanks guys.
Joe Bananas- May 19, 2010 at 9:31 am
When you are a pro and you have a job that needs to be done you put in the proper time and hard work. If anybody showed up to their job only a few times a week and then did their work half assed they would get fired. It sounds like Joe and the coaches did the right thing.
Almost North- May 19, 2010 at 9:17 am
@KarmaAteMyCAt

Amen, tough love in a tough sport. Certain jobs you need to be firm and there needs to be consequences for actions.
budsellers- May 19, 2010 at 8:37 am
speaking for myself, and my relationship with my younger brother, i would probably choose to wait for the next step or roadmark to be complete before cutting him loose. i would not leave my brother high and dry like that before an event like this, whether it was training with me for a fight or making copies in my office and trying to pay his way through college.

what 2 brothers do to each other and how they treat each other is usually nobody else's business. for both of these young men to sabotage and sellout another man in these ways, especially a brother, simply shows the world how much of a cunt bitch you can be and nobody likes a cunt bitch.
blackboxmma- May 19, 2010 at 8:32 am
-500 looking good
ktronics- May 19, 2010 at 8:26 am
@ElFamous

LOL

@wandy1

dood way to not get da jokez on da interwebz
agentsmith- May 19, 2010 at 8:18 am
I don't think Dan ever deserved another shot at the UFC in the first place. His performance against Bobby Green in Affliction was not at all impressive, but then he somehow still gets back in the UFC for his next fight... and with a fairly generous contract at that. It makes no sense other than as a favour to Joe, though I have no idea why Dana would feel he owes Joe a solid. Does Joe have photos of Dana fucking his secretary or something?
jgrant- May 19, 2010 at 7:58 am
I feel worse for Joe than Dany here; I couldn't imagine having to boot a family member from anything bigger than my room. Sounds like Dan just needs to get his head on right. He's a pretty good fighter, I hope he can find a good team and fight up to his potential.

But at the same time we had to figure he was a douche bag: His nickname is The Upgrade for fuck's sake.
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