As Joe Lauzon fought Sam Stout at UFC 108, I remember thinking, "Lauzon doesn't look like himself." He was returning from a knee injury and a 10-month layoff, but it still didn't explain why Lauzon looked so lifeless in the decision, which he lost.
Lauzon says that the knee was partly to blame. He told the Boston Herald:
"My last fight camp kind of got me into normal shape and this fight camp is really elevating me to being fight-ready. Right after the fight I really didn’t take any time off. . . . I’m definitely ready. I’ve had more than enough time."
This is Lauzon's first fight since then, meaning he had a nine-month layoff right after he had a 10-month layoff. Instead of being concerned about ring rust, Lauzon thinks that the time off has helped him. He used it to train more, heading to Hawaii to work with his one-time coach on "The Ultimate Fighter," B.J. Penn.
Now, Penn is on Lauzon's turf. A lifelong Boston native, Lauzon will be fighting in front of a hometown crowd, and finally welcomed Penn to his gym. Both fighters are coming off of a loss and claiming to be revitalized. We'll see if it's true this Saturday.
- Joe Lauzon