2022’s answer to the cursed Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson matchup saw Lauzon and Cerrone fail to make it to the Octagon for their set bouts. After their scheduled UFC 274 clash was scrapped during the event owing to sickness on the side of “Cowboy,” their re-arranged collision at UFC Austin last month fell away on fight day, this time due to a knee injury for “J-Lau.”
With that, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the promotion would be moving on from the pairing, and fan favorite Cerrone was placed against Jim Miller at UFC 276 after the withdrawal of Bobby Green.
Following the result, which saw Miller secure his status as the UFC’s all-time wins leader with a second-round submission, “Cowboy” announced his retirement, bringing an end to a memorable 55-fight professional career.
Now, during an interview with MMA Island’s Maddie Levine, Lauzon has reacted to Cerrone’s retirement.
While he noted that part of him expected the 39-year-old to push towards the magic 50 number for combined UFC and WEC fights, Lauzon admitted that he’s glad Cerrone wasn’t “stubborn” about calling it quits.
“I really thought he was gonna grind to get that 50,” Lauzon said. “I think if the fight had gone better for him, even if he lost, but if it had gone better for him, I think maybe he would’ve tried to limp his way there. But no, I’m not surprised. I totally get it when people are less motivated.
“It sucks when you get older because things pop up quickly. ‘Cowboy’ got sick, I had a problem with my knee. It’s not like when you’re 21 and you roll your ankle, and you just bounce back and you’re good a week later. Now it just takes a little longer… I thought he was gonna be stubborn about it. I’m glad he’s not,” Lauzon added. “He’s doing the movie thing and all the other stuff, so he’s not hurting for money.”
Lauzon: Cerrone Fight Is One That Got Away
While he seemingly believes that Cerrone’s retirement has come at the right time, Lauzon remains disappointed that his chance to throw down with the MMA legend inside the Octagon has passed.
When asked whether his two-time booking with Cerrone feels like “the fight that got away,” Lauzon admitted that it’s frustrating to have missed out on the matchup despite his best efforts and a pair of fight camps.
“Yeah, 100% (it feels like the one that got away), for sure. It’s like, yeah, it’s just like it slipped through my fingers. Yeah, it sucks,” Lauzon admitted. “I’m disappointed, but I also — at the same time, I can’t change anything, I can’t do anything about it, I can’t fix it. So, I’m not gonna get upset about it.”
With that, Lauzon will focus on returning to 100% physically, before looking to re-book his return against a new opponent this fall.
How do you think the fight between Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone would have played out?