Inside the Numbers: Lauzon employed superb ground fighting skills to submit Stephens in round two of their lightweight match, the main event of UFC Fight Night 17.
Recognizing Stephens’ advantage in power after a brief standing skirmish, Lauzon brought the fight to the mat less than a minute into the first round. Once there, Lauzon's fine wrestling and Jiu Jitsu skills allowed him to spend much of the rest of the opening stanza probing for an opening to submit Stephens. Lauzon tallied one takedown, two submission attempts and six dominant positions, while largely neutralizing Stephens powerful strike attempts. Stephens
landed just 7 of 16 ground strike attempts, many of those in the final 60 seconds of the round. Lauzon connected with 8 of 12 of his own ground strikes.
The story was largely the same in round two. Stephens had some success during standing combat, landing two knees and two strikes while in the clinch, but Lauzon had little trouble bringing the match back to the ground where he was clearly in charge. Lauzon continued to control things on the mat, securing dominant positions twice more while continuing to look for the submission. Stephens ground game did not seem to include anything more subtle than 'ground and pound', but the man from Iowa employed this to good effect toward the close of the second. Stephens landed only 3 of 13 ground strike attempts, enough to open a serious gash on the right side of Lauzon's forehead. Seeming to sense the possibility that the cut may have caused the fight to be stopped in Stephens favor during the round break only seconds away, Lauzon instantly sunk in an arm bar. Stephens nearly succeeded in spinning out of the hold, but Lauzon tenaciously hung on and Stephens was forced to tap out at 4:42 of the second.
Lauzon landed 19 of 35 total strikes(54%), with two takedowns, four submission attempts and eight dominant positions, while Stephens landed 20 of 52 with one takedown and one submission attempt.