Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon will be stepping into the cage on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston – a hometown hero fighting before his home crowd. Lauzon is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt in the UFC’s lightweight division. He is currently tied with middleweight monster Anderson Silva for the most post-fight bonuses in UFC history at 12. Lauzon has earned those 12 bonuses across 14 Octagon fights. Even when he is not victorious, Lauzon’s magic can earn his opponent a bonus, as it did when he found himself on the wrong end of a Knockout of the Night against Anthony Pettis.
Lauzon began his mixed martial arts career in February of 2004 in Massachusetts. At Mass Destruction 15 he defeated David Gilrein via first round armbar. Two months later he made Jerry Mosquea tap to punches at MMA Eruption in Lowell, M.A. Lauzon opened his first year of fighting at 8-0, winning each fight by submission and fighting each bout in Massachusetts. In his ninth fight, Lauzon traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, where he faced and lost to Jorge Masvidal at Absolute Fighting Championships 12. Masvidal finished Lauzon via TKO at four minutes of the second round.
Lauzon returned to Ft. Lauderdale for the 13th installment of Absolute Fighting Championships, where he TKO’ed Tim Honeycutt 11seconds into the first round. Fighting next in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Lauzon was submitted for the first time in the cage by Ivan Menjivar at APEX: Undisputed. Lauzon picked up a rebound win in his home state against Antoine Skinner before dropping to 10-3 against Raphael Assuncao at Absolute Fighting Championships 15.
Following the loss to Assuncao, Lauzon entered and won the WFL 6: No Fooling Around Grand Prix on April 1st, 2006. In one night he submitted Adam Comfort and Douglas Brown and KO’ed Zane Baker by way of slam. On the heels of his WFL victor,y Lauzon made his UFC debut as a 7 to 1 underdog against Jens Pulver. Lauzon KO’ed Pulver 48 seconds into the first round, earning his first Octagon win along with his first post-fight bonus for Knockout of the Night.
After knocking out Pulver, Lauzon competed on the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost in the semifinals to Manny Gamburyen. Since the reality show’s fights are exhibition matches, the loss does not appear on Lauzon’s official record. At the finale of the show, Lauzon brought home Submission of the Night honors for his triangle choke victory over Brandon Melendez. He followed that up with a rear naked choke submission of previously unbeaten Jason Reinhardt at UFC 78. Lauzon brought home his first Fight of the Night bonus in a TKO loss to Kenny Florian. He rebounded with a TKO victory over Kyle Bradley and brought home his second Submission of the Night bonus with an armbar finish of Jeremy Stevens.
At UFC 108, Lauzon lost a unanimous decision to Sam Stout but still brought home Fight of the Night for his performance. Eight months later, Lauzon made short work of former TUF 5 competitor Gabe Ruediger with a Submission of the Night armbar victory two minutes into the first round. Lauzon then lost via kimura in the second round of his UFC 123 battle with George Sotiropoulos. This losing endeavor would earn Lauzon’s third Fight of the Night bonus.
After the Sotiropoulos loss, Lauzon put together back to back Submission of the Night victories with a kimura of his own against Curt Warburton and a rear naked choke of Melvin Guillard. Lauzon followed up his Guillard win with a head kick KO loss to Pettis at UFC 144, but jumped right back into the win column with a Submission of the Night/Fight of the Night against Jamie Varner. The World MMA awards voted Lauzon/Varner Fight of the Year 2012, while the UFC instead voted Lauzon/Miller FOTY 2012. Lauzon will be looking for his record 13th Fight Bonus in his bout with Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 26 this Saturday, August 17th, 2013.
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