UFC lightweight sensation Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon fights once again in the main event February 7, headlining “UFC Fight Night” on Spike TV against fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Hermes Franca, live from the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida.
Lauzon (17-4, 5 KOs, 12 submissions), star of The Ultimate Fighter 5 television reality show, last headlined April 2, 2008 Joe in disappointing loss by second-round TKO to fellow Massachusetts fighter Kenny Florian on UFC Fight Night 13 in Denver. “J-Lau” bounced right back this past September, registering an impressive second-round stoppage of Kyle Bradley (13-6) on UFC Fight Night 15 in Omaha, Nebraska.
“It’s kind of weird,” Lauzon said, “but I’ve gone from undercard to main event, back to undercard, and now main event again. I’m not complaining at all. This is a huge fight for me, second only to my main event in Denver, which was more personal with both of us (Lauzon and Florian) from Massachusetts.”
Former UFC lightweight title challenger Franca (20-7), fighting out of Juniper, Florida by way of his native Brazil, is a former WEC and AFC champion. His most notable victories to date include a knockout of former UFC lightweight title challenger Caol Uno five years ago and third round submission (arm-bar) Jamie Varner in 2006. In his UFC championship fight in 2007 against Sean Sherck, Franca lost a 5-round decision on UFC 73 – Stacked. In his last action (July 19, 2008), Hermes won a 3-round decision versus Frankie Edgar on UFC Fight Night 14.
“This fight will be different than the one against Florian,” Lauzon promised. “I’m going to push the pace, be more aggressive. He’s a counter-puncher who likes his opponents to come to him. He’s a good defensive fighter, very good in every way. We’re both dangerous. It’s going to be fast-paced, a real dog fight.”
In addition to starring on The Ultimate Fighter 5, Lauzon caught the attention of MMA fans around the world, when as a 7-1 underdog in his UFC debut (September 23, 2006 in UFC 63), he shockingly stopped former UFC champion Jens “Little Evil” Pulver (21-7-1) at 43 seconds of the opening round.