After choking former champion Jamie Varner out on network television Saturday night and winning two bonus checks (for submission of the night and fight of the night in the process), UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon had plenty to celebrate afterwards but chose to leave the hard partying to others.
"I felt good in between rounds but afterwards there is always such an emotional dump and adrenaline dump that I'm drained," Lauzon said in an interview with Yahoo!.
Instead of hitting the Los Angeles-area clubs after his UFC on FOX main card win, Lauzon says he and his teammates scarfed down buffalo wings. Back at home on the east coast, the Massachusetts native is still riding high after his big win.
With his two fight night discretionary bonuses from the UFC on Saturday, Lauzon became the all-time UFC fight night bonus leader with 11 awards in just 13 fights. The former record holder is retired welterweight Chris Lytle, who received ten awards over the course of twenty UFC fights. Lauzon also passed up middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who has nine bonus awards.
The goal is still to one day become the lightweight champion, but Lauzon says that having that record and being known as an exciting fighter means a lot to him as well.
"I loved watching Chris Lytle fight and, of course, I love watching [Silva] fight. Both have more fights than me so for me to have won more fight night bonuses than them is awesome. I take a lot of pride in going in there and trying to finish people."
Perhaps even more impressive than his fight night bonus award record, Lauzon has managed to finish every single fight he's won in his entire career. Lauzon has 22 pro wins and 22 finishes.
"I hadn't thought of that much before, having a 100 percent finishing rate. I didn't really think about how many fights I had and how I'd finished every single one I've won. Ninety-five percent is something, Ninety-nine percent is incredible. But 100 percent is perfect," Lauzon said.
"As for the bonuses, I've been really fortunate. I train hard and I think my style of Jiu Jitsu is good for that. I'm constantly going for things. In the second round, for example, I was winning the round in my opinion and had Jamie's back with ten seconds left. Then I heard the 10-second marker and went for an arm bar. It wasn't a very good set up for the submission but I figured, 'what the heck?' He wasn't going to hit me that much in ten seconds if I didn't get it and if I got it, great."
With his fight night bonuses, Lauzon walked away from Saturday's fight with a nice chunk of change in his pocket. "I probably made about $150,000 this weekend," Lauzon details. "I made forty-something in show-and-win money and then I got $100,000 in bonuses."
The computer science degree holder and avid video gamer says he knows what he'll spend his money on: "I'm buying lots of X-Boxes," he laughs.
In all seriousness, the small-business owner Lauzon is known for being smart with his money, and his fans can rest assured that he won't waste it.
"Right off the bat, I have taxes. So that leaves me with about $100,000. I bought a house the other year, so $60,000-70,000 of this weekend's money is probably going straight into my mortgage. I've got about $40,000 in student loan debt left so I have to decide how much I might put into that now. Loans suck, so I've got to take care of that."
Lauzon and his girlfriend (Joe says that he hates using the term fiancé because it sounds "pretentious") will also have a marriage to plan for at some point, but he says they likely have a couple years before that happens as the couple waits for her to finish an "intense" nursing program that she's currently enrolled in. "We'll probably start narrowing things and dates down next spring or summer," Lauzon says.
For the time being, don't expect the fight night bonus leader to soon be driving around his hometown of Bridgewater, Massachusetts in a new fancy car.
"I'm not getting a new car or big rims. Nothing crazy," Lauzon said. "I'll probably take $1,000 and do something fun with it, that's it."
He'll likely continue to re-invest the rest in himself.
"I think I pay my coaches pretty well," Lauzon said. "I also bring out a lot of guys out with me for fights to help me and pay to bring Brandon, the guy who does my Vlogs, with and get him equipment to do it. That stuff is important, too. I don't think that doing blogs necessarily brings back money directly to me but it helps. I'm always going to make sure I do everything I need to do to train to the best of my ability. If that means flying people out to train or things like that, I'm going to do that."
Lauzon says he considers himself one of the more exciting fighters in MMA, but never wants to be known for simply taking damage in order to entertain.
"Someone told me after this fight, 'man, you're a tough bastard.' I don't ever want to be known as tough. A lot of guys are considered exciting by fans and they take a lot of damage. I don't want that to be my style. I want to be exciting because I'm attacking other people, not because they are attacking me."
Elias Cepeda has covered boxing and mixed martial arts since 2005 and is a voting member of the Yahoo! Sports MMA Pound for Pound Rankings panel. Follow Elias on twitter @EliasCepeda
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