Interview with UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon

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I had the opportunity to catch up with Joe Lauzon, fresh off his victory at UFC 78 against Jason Reinhardt. We discussed the fight, his status as a full time fighter, who he might like to fight next, his professional troll job of The Underground Forum before UFC 78, and a lot more.

Adam Morgan: When I contacted you for the interview, you said you’re currently in Boston, MA. Are you making trips back and forth to Hawaii?

Joe Lauzon: I’m going to be spending the majority of my time in Hawaii, but because of all the holidays and everything I’m back here for like a month or so.

Adam Morgan: Okay, so you’ve pretty much relocated to Hawaii on a permanent basis?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, I’m going to be in Hawaii most of the time.

Adam Morgan: Did your fight at UFC 78 against Jason Reinhardt go as you expected it to?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, pretty much. I felt going into the fight that I was bigger, I thought I had better standup, I thought I was better on the ground. It went pretty much how I figured it.

Adam Morgan: Was the gameplan to pretty much just overwhelm him like you did?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, that’s always the gameplan. That’s always in my gameplan. Overwhelm people, blitz them, take advantage.

Adam Morgan: You looked like you had some new tricks up your sleeve during the fight. Did your training camp go well leading up to the fight?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, training camp was great. The one thing that kind of sucked was that I was sick for like the last week I was in Hawaii. We had just started to do some sparring and things like that. Out in Hilo we do a lot of drilling, a lot of technique, conditioning and the last week I was out there I got sick. It sucked a little bit but it ended up not being a problem and it ended up being fine.

Adam Morgan: Yeah, I saw you had some pictures posted up on The Underground Forum where it said you were at roughly 185 about 48 hours out from the fight. Is that true?

Joe Lauzon: That was a big joke. My brother and my roommate Brandon were in the hotel lobby and they heard Reinhardt was getting a little scared, you know, “Joe’s running around at 185! He’s so big!” and all this other stuff. So they started talking like “Oh, I can’t believe Joe’s 185. It’ll be a tough cut but he’ll make it.” So we just sort of ran with it to play on his paranoia a little bit.

Adam Morgan: So what weight were you actually at about 48 hours out?

Joe Lauzon: I was at about 165, something like that.

Adam Morgan: Okay, because I put that picture up and people were wondering “Where does this guy hide thirty pounds?”

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, no, it was my brother standing on the scale holding two bottles of Pedialyte. We switched shorts, we switched socks, we made sure we didn’t move anything. A couple people were making comments about how he had hairier legs than me, but I said “Oh no, it’s just the angle.”

Adam Morgan: So basically what you’re telling me is that you pulled a professional troll job on the Underground?

Joe Lauzon: Always, always.

Adam Morgan: That was your first fight as a full time professional fighter. How has that paid dividends for you?

Joe Lauzon: It was much nicer to be able to train and not have to worry about other stuff. That’s huge because I wasn’t getting overtrained, I wasn’t getting beat up. I was able to stay busy and it paid huge dividends.

Adam Morgan: Has the UFC contacted you about any future fights?

Joe Lauzon: I contacted Joe Silva to try to find out what’s next and he said he’s working on it. Now I’m already back in the gym, I’m working on stuff, getting in shape and everything like that. I really didn’t lose all that much because I was in such good shape out in Hawaii, I kept most of it. I’m hitting the gym a couple times a day.

Adam Morgan: So are you planning on fighting 3-4 times a year, is that sort of your schedule now?

Joe Lauzon: Probably. You figure we typically do 8-10 weeks for a fight camp, so you’re looking at every 3-4 months for a fight. I’m not in a rush, I’m always good at finding other things to do to keep myself occupied with. I want to fight soon, but it’s not like I’m dying to fight right away.

Adam Morgan: Is there anyone in particular that you want to fight?

Joe Lauzon: There’s not really anyone in particular. Spencer Fisher’s always one I’d like to do because I beat Jens and Spencer beat my brother so I’m always looking forward to that fight, but no one in particular, I don’t care, whoever they want.

Adam Morgan: That’s one that I was going to ask you about because that’s one that’s always sort of floating around on the internet as well. Is there bad blood between you and Spencer Fisher or is it more like you just want to avenge your brother’s loss?

Joe Lauzon: Not really bad blood, but when I was fighting Reinhardt, Spencer was fighting Frankie Edgar so at weigh-ins we were just kind of joking back and forth. It’s not really bad blood, but at the same time, I’m sure he would like to get some revenge for Jens and I’d like to get some revenge for my brother, so it’s not like we dislike each other all that much but we definitely want to punch each other in the face.

Adam Morgan: Would you be interested in avenging your loss to Manny Gamburyan from The Ultimate Fighter show?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, that’s definitely a fight I would like to get back, but I think there are other fights. I don’t want to be clinging to the last fight I lost. I want to look forward, I don’t want to get stuck on “I want to fight Manny, I want to fight Manny,” you know? Anyone wants to avenge a loss but it’s not something I’m going to get hung up on.

Adam Morgan: Have you spoken to BJ Penn at all about what went down with Sean Sherk’s hearing?

Joe Lauzon: No, I haven’t talked to him. I’ve been texting back and forth to him, but I haven’t actually heard from him in the past day or two.

Adam Morgan: Are you going to Hawaii to help BJ train for his fight against Joe Stevenson?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, I won’t be out there for very long, though. I’m going out to Vegas on the 27th to be out there for UFC 79. Tony DeSouza’s fighting so that will be cool. I’ll be there for New Year’s and then I go to Hawaii on the 2nd, I think. I’ll be in Hawaii for like a week and then I think I’m going to London with BJ.

Adam Morgan: In past interviews, you’ve mentioned the possibility of starting your own gym. Is that something you’d like to do relatively soon or is that something that’s on the back burner for right now?

Joe Lauzon: It’s kind of on the back burner. I didn’t think that things would take off so well with going to Hawaii and everything else, so I was at a point where I had to decide between Hawaii and opening a gym. I was kind of thinking that I wanted to hang around here just because I do have a lot of guys that I train and I like to be there for. The worst part about going to Hawaii was not being able to be around for their fights and things like that. I’m real close to those guys. So I was thinking that I wanted to start the gym rather than move, but for now I think it’s an opportunity that I can’t pass up. I can’t screw around, I’ve got to take care of business for me. So I’m moving to Hawaii for now and when I’m done doing that, maybe a couple years, a year or two or whatever I’ll come back and we’ll open up a school then.

Adam Morgan: That’s another thing that I was going to ask you about. BJ’s sort of known for saying go train somewhere for a year or two and then move onto the next place and that’s how you get good. Is that something you plan on doing?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, you know, I’m going to go to Hawaii and I think there’s a ton I can learn. BJ, you know, he’s amazing, so many people tell you he’s the best in the world, so if that’s what his advice is then that’s definitely what I’m going to try and do. Where do I want to go next after Hawaii? I have no idea. I just can’t think of too many other places that are going to have the same type of technique as Hilo.

Adam Morgan: In a past interview you said you tried to give your TUF 5 spot up to your brother, Dan, correct?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, I wanted to. I thought it would be a good opportunity for him, he’s way more interesting than I am, but it didn’t end up working out.

Adam Morgan: So they basically only wanted you on the show because of the Jens Pulver connection?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, definitely. What’s better television than having one of the students, if you will, being on there and having knocked out one of the coaches, you know? That’s TV gold.

Adam Morgan: How long can we expect to see you in the Octagon?

Joe Lauzon: I’ll be here for awhile. I’m not going anywhere. We all signed long contracts so we’ll be around for quite a bit.

Adam Morgan: Was it the standard nine fight contract that most TUF fighters sign?

Joe Lauzon: It’s something like that, yeah. I’d have to actually look at the contract. I don’t know if it’s a set fight, ha, I don’t even know my own contract. I don’t know if it’s a set fight contract, like three fights per year. It says roughly three fights per year for three years but I don’t know if it’s the nine fights that’s more strict or if the time limit is more strict. I don’t even know. But, I’m not going anywhere for awhile. I’m real happy, it’s not like I’m looking to go anywhere else anyways. I’m happy with the UFC, that’s the place to be.

Adam Morgan: Any shout outs you want to make or anything you want to pimp?

Joe Lauzon: Yeah, JoeLauzon.com, Sprawl Fight Shorts, and SlayingAngels.com. SlayingAngels.com is a website me and my buddy started. I always do some kind of shirt for every fight and then we sell the shirt, so we came up with a cool logo and we’re going to sell shirts like that.

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