Joe Lauzon has fought in MMA since he was a teenager. He never never lost three consecutive fights up until last year when Chris Gruetzemacher finished him in two rounds.
Lauzon had lost his previous two contests which made him contemplate on the future of a stellar career. First was Clay Guida then Steven Ray. The human highlight reel felt that if he couldn't bounce back against Gruetzemacher, it's time to call it quits.
“I thought for sure I would beat Gruetzemacher. I felt great and I didn’t think he was that good,” Lauzon said in an interview.
Two rounds later, Lauzon assumed that was it for him. He focused instead on his growing family and MMA school in the suburbs of Boston.
Lauzon also took the time to heal up some injuries as he focused on coaching some of New England’s best young fighters. Several of his students will be competing this Friday at the Boston Garden.
Representing his academy“We had the academy for a long time and I was always like 90 percent fighter and 10 percent gym owner,” Lauzon shares.
“Then, for about eight months, I switched that ratio. I still trained — I’m on the mats every day — but I focused on improving things and systems at the gym and not on getting myself ready for competition.”
As Lauzon’s body healed, he kickstarted his gym’s business and trained with many other UFC fighters during the process. Helping active fighters get ready for their bouts made him reconsider his earlier thoughts on retirement.
“We had said going into the last one that if I lost I would be done, but as time went on I started not agreeing with that,” he explained.
Lauzon opened up to fighting again. He let the UFC know he was looking for the right fight to return to action.
Feeling more physically and emotionally ready than ever, he knew he needed to change some things. “It’s easy to fall into a habit where you do what you do just because you’ve always done it,” he said.
Lauzon to welcome Jonathan Pearce at UFC Boston"J-Lau" got a win-win in his return. He gets a return fight and he gets to do it in his hometown of Boston as he faces newcomer Jonathan Pearce.
Pearce (7-3) is coming of a TKO win on Dana White's Contender series last July. He gets the blessing of welcoming Lauzon back on the main card of UFC on ESPN 6.
Lauzon understands what another loss will mean for his future. “If I lose, though, I’m done,” he said.
There are upsides and downsides to fighting near home. The upside is having the crowd behind you and the downside is the pressure of not letting them down.
If the past has indicated, Lauzon is used to pressure and he can secure a victory, needless to say he is indeed still good for a few more fights.
Will "J-Lau" make a triumphant return to the octagon? What will be the outcome of his return fight? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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