UFC Nashville goes down this Saturday, and when #JoeLauzon is on the fight card, you know it's an event not to be missed.
Lauzon will face Scottish lightweight #StevieRay in the second fight on the main card. With 26 UFC fights already under his belt, you might think that fight week would be a little mundane for the man who made his UFC debut in 2006. Lauzon, however, says he's still as motivated as the first time he walked into the Octagon.
"Yeah, of course, the buzz is still there every single fight week," Lauzon said, speaking exclusively to Champions.co. "The feelings don't change, but how I handle them has. I like to try and keep as calm as I can during the week. Every fight is exciting, every time you make the walk it's exciting, but I try to not let it negatively impact me."
Since September 2014, Lauzon has fought seven times, with a record of 3-4, alternating wins and losses. This weekend, he will look to break the pattern with his second win in a row, having defeated #MarcinHeld in his last fight.
"Sure it would be cool to stop that, but it's not something I take any notice of," Lauzon said. "I've fought a load of really tough guys and I always try to push myself. That just means sometimes I win, and sometimes I don't. That's just the way it goes when you fight in such a tough division. It's not something I'm going to lose sleep over. I never think past one fight at a time because your next fight is always the most important. This weekend, it's no different."
While Ray isn't one of the biggest names in the division, his 4-1 UFC record suggests he will be a tough task on Saturday. Lauzon is very respectful of what the Scotsman brings to the table, and says he's aware that he's going to have to be in good form if he's to pick up the win.
"I've been able to look at quite a bit of footage of him, so I'm well aware of what I think he might want to do," Lauzon said. "It's tough to know what someone who's never been in the UFC is all about, but he's had a good amount of fights [in the UFC], so I had plenty to watch. He seems very solid everywhere, but I think he likes to stand a lot more. He's a southpaw who likes to kick a lot, but he's also still got solid jiu-jitsu, and wrestling, and he's not afraid to look for takedowns. In the fights I've seen, he's been aggressive, so I think it should be a good fight."
With 15 UFC post-fight bonuses already to his name, Lauzon is tied with #NateDiaz for the most in UFC history. Despite the archives showing that Lauzon has been involved in some of the best UFC fights in recent memory, the seven-time Fight of the Night winner says he never goes out there with the intention of winning that bonus.
"The perfect scenario is he tries to shoot in and I guillotine him right off the bat--I would take that all day," Lauzon said laughing. "For me, it's all about just getting the job done and getting out there healthy. I got a boy now, I don't want him seeing me all beat up. I never go in there with intention of having a war. Anytime you can get out of there with a win and nothing damaged or broken, it's a good night. Whether it's a fight where you take them down and submit them early, or whether you tag them right off the bat and finish it--that's the best way to win a fight."
While Lauzon is currently outside the UFC lightweight rankings, he has a little doubt who the gold standard of the division is. The 11-year UFC veteran believes that the 155-pound champion is setting the example for the rest.
"You got to say that Conor [McGregor] is the man right now," Lauzon said. "He's the one with the belt. There are a lot of good guys, but Conor is the man to beat and he's legit. At the end of the day, people can say this guy or that guy is the best, but Conor's the one with the belt, and I always think that should be who's thought of as number one."
This weekend, Lauzon will get his own chance to prove that he still belongs with the best in the division when he faces Ray in Nashville.
UFC Nashville Fight Card:
- Cub Swanson vs. Artem Lobov
- Al Iaquinta vs. Diego Sanchez
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Marcos Rogerio De Lima
- John Dodson vs. Eddie Wineland
- Joe Lauzon vs. Stevie Ray
- Jake Ellenberger vs. Mike Perry
- Thales Leites vs. Sam Alvey
- Dustin Ortiz vs. Brandon Moreno
- Scott Holtzman vs. Michael McBride
- Jessica Penne vs. Danielle Taylor
- Alexis Davis vs. Cindy Dandois
- Bryan Barbernea vs. Joe Proctor
- Hector Sandoval vs. Matt Schnell