Joe Lauzon joined MMA Fight Corner on Tuesday night and discussed his UFC 155 main card fight with Gray Maynard on December 29th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Lauzon is only behind Anderson Silva for lifetime performance bonus awards, with 11 (Silva has 12). In Lauzon’s last fight vs. Jamie Varner at UFC on FOX 4, JLau received two bonuses – Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night. To celebrate, Lauzon bought a Ghostbuster’s movie replica proton pack, but money is not what motivates him to finish fights.
“The money’s really nice, but it’s really not the driving factor behind it,” said Lauzon. “The basing is that’s just how I like to fight. I like to go out there and submit guys, I like to go out there and attack. Sometimes I’m a little over-aggressive and it leads to cardio issues and things like that, but I try to have the kind of fights that I want to watch. And I want to watch guys that are going out and being aggressive and attacking, and not guys that are trying to edge out a decision.
“It’s not that I’m 100 percent thinking ‘Oh I’m just thinking about that money’. I’m thinking that if I’m going to have a fight and I’m going to dedicate months of my life to getting ready for 15 minutes, I’m going have fun, I’m going to be in shape and I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna attack. And I’m gonna know one way or the other if I’m the better guy or not the better guy. I’d hate to go out there and try to just win and just coast to a decision. It’s not fulfilling to me.”
Lauzon also went into to preparing for Gray Maynard’s strengths and how he’s gameplanning for him.
“I don’t think there’s anything super specific,” said Lauzon about Maynard’s strengths. “I think if you look at his skill set, I don’t think he’s the best finisher. He hurt Frankie really bad – twice, and he wasn’t able to finish him. I think that in all his fights in the UFC he’s finished one guy. I’m sure he’s trying to finish guys, but he just doesn’t happen to be a great finisher. He’s a guy that always has good cardio, he’s always pushing to the end of the fight, tons of heart, tons of drive, incredibly strong, doesn’t kick a whole lot. I’m sure he’s like everyone else he’s constantly trying to round everything out. But basically, if I had to describe him as a fighter, you’d say a boxer and wrestler which is a lot like Jamie Varner who I just fought. But I feel like Varner had the better boxing, Gray has the better wrestling, but both try to stand. It’s very, very similar to the Varner fight I think.”
Lauzon also said the fight has potential to help the winner boost their ranking within the division.
“Is this like definitely a number one contender fight? I don’t know. It could, if you look at it that way. I don’t think anything’s going to be set in stone. I would love to fight for the title. That’s what everyone wants. Every single guy in the UFC that’s out there, they want to get that belt, they want to get that title of their weight class. That would be awesome. This could definitely be looked at as a number one contender fight for sure.”
“I felt like Cowboy and Pettis would be the next ones to fight for the title, but now that’s kind of hanging in the air. And I think those guys definitely want to fight each other, Cowboy he’ll fight whoever, but I know he wants to get after Pettis too. So I don’t know how that’ll all going to shake out.”
Regardless of the implications, Lauzon’s excited to be on the UFC’s end of the year fight card in Las Vegas. “I’m super proud that when they’re having their big year end show that I’m one of the guys that they want to go out represent and put on a good show. Everyone talks about the end of the year and it being the biggest show of the year, and that they have that kind of faith in me that I’m one of the guys they want for that main card, it’s awesome. And the big implications for the fight, because if it is a number one contender fight, or at least getting me very close to the top, like everything, it’d be a great way to cap off the end of the year.”