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 411mania » MMA » Columns

The 411 MMA Top 10 12.16.13: Top 10 Joe Lauzon Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 12.16.2013

Joe Lauzon's Top Ten Fights
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What's up everybody, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at Joe Lauzon's best fights. Lauzon has been with the UFC since 2006 and has become one of the best lightweights in the history of the company. One of the most exciting fighters of all time, Lauzon is tied for number one with Anderson Silva with twelve post-fight bonuses. He got a much needed win this weekend and I wouldn't be surprised if he were to climb back up the rankings. The fights are ranked based on the usual stuff: fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion.

Honorable Mentions:
• VS Curt Warburton UFC on Versus 4- Won via kimura.

• VS Gabe Ruediger UFC 118- Won via armbar.

• VS George Sotiropoulos UFC 123- Lost via kimura.

10: VS Jason Reinhardt UFC 78

This was Joe Lauzon's first fight since the TUF 5 finale and he took on the undefeated Jason Reinhardt. This was also a huge fight for Reinhardt as it was his UFC debut. Reinhardt was fighting above his natural weight class, but he still finished all eighteen of his opponents with fourteen by submission. This didn't matter as Lauzon just owned him. He took Reinhardt down to the ground and just completely out grappled him. Lauzon won by rear naked choke and Reinhardt wouldn't return to the UFC until 2011 at UFC 127.

9: VS Mac Danzig UFC on Fox 9

His most recent fight this weekend was a huge one for Lauzon. He came into this one on a two fight losing streak and he looked like dog crap in his last fight against Michael Johnson. He probably wouldn't have been cut with a loss, but it would have been devastating for his career. It was also a big fight for Danzig. The TUF season 6 winner usually makes for a good fight, but he was also trying to avoid a three fight losing streak and he's lost more than he's won in the UFC. It wasn't the edge of your seat fight we often get from Lauzon, but it was a hard fought victory. Lauzon won by unanimous decision, but Danzig fought off his submission attempts and battled to the end. This was the first time Lauzon has won by decision in his career. Unfortunately, Danzig will most likely be cut from the UFC.

8: Mike Brown CZ 8
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Mike Brown is a former WEC champion and one of the best featherweights of all time, but he has taken a few fights at lightweight throughout his career. In 2004, Brown took on a young Joe Lauzon in a smaller promotion in Massachusetts. Brown was coming off his first loss and appearance in the UFC and Lauzon was still undefeated. This was way before both fighters would reach their primes and Lauzon would come out victorious with a rear naked choke in the third round. Lauzon would later be named the Massachusetts fighter of the year. I think I'll do a Mike Brown list pretty soon.

7: Jeremy Stephens UFN 15

I'm excited to see how far Jeremy Stephens can go at featherweight. He just killed Rony Jason and has a big fight coming up with Darren Elkins. Before dropping down to featherweight this year, Stephens was a lightweight in the UFC since 2007. Stephens is usually a fun fighter with wins over guys like Sam Stout, Cole Miller, and Rafael dos Anjos, but he could never win against that next level of competition. The two met in the main event of UFC Fight Night 17 and it was a good one. Lauzon won the first round on the ground and the second round was fun as the two started out connecting with some wild exchanges. Lauzon took it to the ground and again and locked in a nice armbar after some maneuvering.

6: VS Kenny Florian UFN 13

Joe Lauzon was undefeated in the UFC when he took on Kenny Florian in his first main event. Lauzon scored the first takedown, but Florian bloodied him up with elbows to the top of his head. Florian hurt Lauzon with a body kick, but Lauzon followed with another takedown. Then we got to see some high level grappling as both guys went for submissions and Lauzon came close with some kneebars and heel hooks. Then the second round was all Florian as he took him down immediately and then just brought down punches in the full mount until Herb Dean stopped it. This won Fight of the Night and Florian's fourth win in a row.

5: VS Sam Stout UFC 108
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Sam Stout was also in action this weekend and his career is very similar to that of Joe Lauzon. He's been with the UFC since 2006 and he almost always has good fights, but he's never been able to put together enough wins to become an elite lightweight. This fight did not disappoint and gave us the great fight you would expect from these two. Stout won by unanimous decision in a fun back and forth fight as he showed nice takedown defense and his striking on the feet outweighed what Joe Lauzon was able to do on the ground. Both men were awarded Fight of the Night.

4: VS Melvin Guillard UFC 136

Melvin Guillard was on the hottest streak of his career when he took on Joe Lauzon. The Young Assassin won five in a row over guys like Shane Roller, Evan Dunham, and Jeremy Stephens. It took Lauzon less than a minute to drop one of the best strikers in the lightweight division. Then Lauzon took Guillard's back and looked really cool while doing it. Lauzon won by rear naked choke and put himself near the top of the lightweight rankings.

3: VS Jens Pulver UFC 63

Jens Pulver was the inaugural UFC lightweight champion one of the best fighters in the company's early days, but he left the company in 2002 to make more money in other various promotions, boxing, and eventually Pride. He returned to the UFC in 2006 and took a fight that was supposed to be an easy win before returning to the title picture. This was also Lauzon's UFC debut and he came in a 7-1 underdog. But none of that mattered as Lauzon knocked out the former champ in only 48 seconds as he picked up his first post-fight bonus in one of the biggest upsets of all time.

2: VS Jim Miller UFC 155

Joe Lauzon just had to go and try to top his previous awesome fight against Varner. I was originally disappointed when Lauzon's original opponent, Gray Maynard had to back out of the fight, but Jim Miller surprised me. Miller came out far more aggressive than usual and busted Lauzon up almost immediately. The cage was absolutely soaked with his blood as Lauzon had a huge gash in his head. Lauzon was on the defense for most of the fight, but he held in there and was the star of the fight even though he lost. I was screaming at the television when he went for the anklelock in the third round. Miller won by unanimous decision, but the crowd was solidly behind Lauzon as they booed the judges decision.

1: VS Jamie Varner UFC on Fox 4

I've always been a Jamie Varner and I've really enjoyed his return to the UFC. Varner was a former WEC lightweight champion, but he didn't win in his last four WEC fights and wasn't brought over to the UFC when the company folded. He redeemed himself in 2012 by picking up some wins in XFC and was brought in on short notice to take on rising prospect Edson Barboza. Varner pulled off a huge upset in one of my favorite fights of the year. Now Joe Lauzon was originally supposed to fight Terry Etim at this event, but he got hurt and we got to watch one of the best fights of the year instead. Varner would break his hand in the second round, but he kept going and these two never let up. Lauzon won with a triangle choke in the third and took home big money as he would get Fight and Submission of the Night awards after the show. The World MMA Awards named this the fight of the year.

• So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
• As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
• Next week will probably be ten fighters the WSOF should look to sign.

Bonus Strikeforce Fight of The Week


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