"The Ultimate Fighter" winner Efrain Escudero had no problem defeating Dan Lauzon in a unanimous decision at UFC 114 in Las Vegas. Escudero won on all judges cards, 29-27.
Escudero hit Lauzon with a series of knees in the stand-up-filled first round, showing improved footwork and striking. Escudero had another relentless stretch of strikes early in the second round, inundating Lauzon with strikes and knees. Lauzon survived, and after the two broke from the clinch, Lauzon tried a takedown. Escudero used his wrestling skills to easily stop the takedown attempt.
Lauzon was gassed by the third round, while Escudero looked as fresh as he did when the bout began. Lauzon took several, unanswered series of punches. Even when Escudero cajoled him to hit, Lauzon barely threw a punch. With less than 30 seconds left in the bout, Escudero kicked Lauzon in the groin. Lauzon took time to recover while Escudero was deducted a point. When the fight restarted, Lauzon found a second wind and threw the punches that Escudero had been asking for, even cutting Escudero in the process. But it was too little, too late for the younger Lauzon.
Escudero was determined to get back on the winning track after suffering his first career loss to Evan Dunham at Ultimate Fight Night 20. Escudero used striking and conditioning to show that the one loss did not derail him.
Lauzon came into the bout with family drama hanging over his head. His brother, Joe, also a UFC lightweight, and their coaches decided not to corner Dany because they were disappointed in Dany's commitment to training. Judging by Lauzon's cardio, their disappointment was warranted.
Dan is coming off his second loss in the UFC, and he did nothing tonight to show that he belonged there. At just 22 years old, he has plenty of time to commit to the sport, improve his cardio and show that he can fight with the big boys.
UFC 114 non-televised undercard results:
Melvin Guillard def. Waylon Lowe via TKO (knee) - Round 1, 3:28
Cyrille Diabate def. Luiz Cane via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 2:13
Aaron Riley def. Joe Brammer via unanimous decision (30-27 on all cards)
Ryan Jensen def. Jesse Forbes via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 1:02