Every once in a while we need a reminder of what the sport of MMA truly is. Ever since UFC 1, we were shown the smaller, maybe less athletic guy can win with resilience and with technique. The skills to finish a fight in an instant are there. Well at UFC 136, Joe Lauzon came in and delivered a wonderful demonstration of this factor.
I didn’t believe in Melvin Guillard, but I was starting to. Let’s face it the dude was on a run in the UFC and he is an awesome athlete. But at UFC 136 Lauzon showed that with a little technique, anyone can be derailed.
Don’t feel I’m disrespecting Lauzon, because he is a great fighter who has come a long way. When I look back I have been matchmaker on three of his fights earlier in his career, and he was alway exciting and dangerous.
But what Lauzon did in this fight against Guillard was simply awesome. Guillard was potentially the next number one contender, albeit that the Gilbert Melendez factor is there. But Guillard is explosive and exciting and was coming off 5 wins in a row.
So what was it that Lauzon did? He killed. He didn’t give Guillard a chance to get off at all and use his athleticism, he went in and he hurt him right away, and then when he got the chance he finished the fight with his technique. It took him less than a minute to have his hand raised against a guy I’m sure was the favorite at the sportsbooks.
And that to me is the essence of the sport. If you wind up in a war, so be it, but the idea is to finish the fight.
And what Joe did was a perfect illustration of this art, a thing I think is being lost by the ‘bangers’ in the UFC. Even many of the BJJ artists, supposedly skilled in finishing a fight, are not shutting people down in the UFC anymore.
So what Lauzon did was this weekend was earn Submission of the Night honors. He deserves it. He fought a top guy, he took it to him and he made it look easy. We haven’t seen that in the UFC for a while.