Thursday, June 30, 2022

Lauzon “Didn’t Know” If He Even Wanted Cerrone Fight

Joe Lauzon is focused heading into his matchup with Donald Cerrone, but the longtime UFC veteran admits that he had some reservations about accepting the fight.

“J-Lau” last appeared when he finished Jonathan Pearce via ground and pound in 2019. He’ll face fellow veteran Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of UFC Austin tonight, but Lauzon admitted at the event’s media day that he had some things to consider before accepting the matchup.

“Right away, I didn’t know if I even wanted to do it,” Lauzon said. “Honestly, like my last fight was in Boston and was picture perfect. It’d be the perfect last fight ever. I fought at home, I fought a kid that’s really good, I came out unscathed. Just like, flawless victory, like everything about the fight was perfect. And then we’re close to two years until the next fight. And now it’s like – it was a fight I was excited for – but then it didn’t work out, for whatever reason it didn’t happen.”

The matchup with Cerrone was initially rumored for a UFC Fight Night card in April before being moved to UFC 274. Everything appeared to be on track until “Cowboy” was forced to pull out with an illness just hours before the event.

Lauzon snapped a three-right losing streak when he stopped Jonathan Pearce in the first round. (Zuffa LLC)

Such a late change would be frustrating for any fighter, but it was even more difficult for Lauzon given that he’s in the latter-stages of his career.

“So it’s like, is [Cerrone pulling out] a sign? Do we not wanna do this? Should we just maybe let this be the end of it? But I was like, it was such a horrible feeling of it being unresolved. We had to settle it, I felt like I had to do it, you know? So at first I was like ‘I don’t know if I wanna do this.’

“But then I thought about it a little bit more and I’m like ‘Okay, no I definitely wanna do this, I definitely wanna settle this out and kinda see how it shakes out.’ Yeah, it’s just weird. I’ve never had a rematch kinda like this, where the fight didn’t happen then you do it again right away.”

The 38-year-old debuted in the UFC all the way back in 2006 at UFC 63. Although he’s never fought for a UFC belt, Lauzon established himself as a fan-favorite and is currently tied with Nate Diaz for the third-most post-fight bonuses in the promotion’s history.

Tonight’s co-main event bout with Cerrone will be Lauzon’s first fight in over two years. “J-Lau” snapped a three-fight losing streak with his win over Pearce in October 2019 at UFC on ESPN 6.

What do you think of Lauzon’s comments about accepting a fight with Cerrone?

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