Even After You Kick His Ass, Gabe Ruediger Will be Kind of a Dick to You, Joe Lauzon Reports

(Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. PicProps: MMA Weekly)

You know how it goes in MMA circles: When two guys have beef they settle it with a 15-minute therapy session inside the cage. Next thing you know, problem solved. Hugs and high-fives all around. It’s pretty much the best formula we know of for conflict resolution that doesn’t involve some bullshit like talking or mutual understanding or compromise. Hence, those terrible “Fighting Solves Everything” T-shirts you see around sometimes.

Not so with the ongoing Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Ruediger kerfuffle, however.

The two lightweights had themselves a tepid little feud going even before their undercard battle at UFC 118. We’re a little fuzzy on the details – and frankly don’t care enough to look it up – but it reportedly had something to do with Lauzon posting an online video making fun of Ruediger’s “Godzilla” nickname and Ruediger presenting Lauzon with a cake at the official weigh-ins. Not necessarily in that order. Sounds like run-of-the-mill “funny” fighter BS to us and apparently Lauzon thought so too, assuming it would all be squashed once they did the man dance together on SpikeTV. As it turns out, it’s a lot easier to forgive and forget when you’re the asskicker and not the asskickee.

Fastforward to fight night, when Lauzon flew through Ruediger like a hot knife through butter. While not unexpected – since Ruediger took the bout on short notice after Terry Etim pulled out with an injury – it probably wasn’t the triumphant return to the UFC “Godzirra” Gabe had planned for himself. After the drubbing, which ended via arm bar in just two minutes, one second, he refused to shake Lauzon’s hand in the cage. Later, Ruediger posted a fairly contrite blog on his personal website and reportedly Tweeted he didn’t mean to ignore the handshake, but as Lauzon told MMA Weekly yesterday, he ain’t buying that.

“I tried to shake his hand in the cage and he didn’t want any part of that,” said Lauzon. “He looked up at me and then just looked away, and freaking walked right by me. He posted on Twitter or something that he didn’t know I tried to shake his hand. No, you could tell, and you could tell on his face watching the video that it wasn’t like he was so out of it that he didn’t know what was going on … He knew what was going on. He was embarrassed, and that’s why he didn’t shake my hand. That’s fine, whatever, if he wants to be like that.”

Lauzon bolsters his case by reporting that Ruediger also shrugged off  further attempts at a post-beatdown bromance backstage.

Says Lauzon: “After I did the steroid test for the commission, there was a monitor there and the Marcus (Davis) and Nate (Diaz) fight was on, so I was sitting on the floor in the middle of the aisle, watching the monitors, watching the fight. He came over and shook my hand and I’m like ‘no hard feelings’ and he was like ‘I don’t know about that.’ I’m like ‘dude, I made the video; it was a big joke. It was stuff from four or five years ago, I’m sure you’re not so sensitive about it. You gave me a cake at the weigh-ins, we both got each other; ha-ha, it’s fun. I’m ready to move on with it and not hold any grudges,’ and he didn’t say anything, he just walked away …

“He’s 32 years old and he acts like he’s a 14-year-old kid. He’s like ‘I hold grudges just like when I was in high school or whatever when I was a little kid’ and I was like ‘Okay, act like a 14-year-old.’ “

Meanwhile, Lauzon is headed back up the UFC lightweight ladder and Ruediger reports that by stepping up and taking the fight for Etim, he’s been promised at least one more crack in the UFC. So, maybe there is a silver lining in all this. Especially for whichever UFC lightweight gets to fight Ruediger next.