Joe Lauzon broke into the UFC back in 2006 and in the 7 years that has ensued he’s fought 14 times and amassed a record of 9 & 5. On its face, one might describe his Octagon achievements as a hit-and-miss journey and one that’s never seen him string together more than 3 wins in a row, and one that’s never allowed him to work himself into title contention at 155.
However, as with a lot of things, the devil is in the details.
In his 14 fights in the big show, "J-Lau" has managed to garner 12 UFC bonuses and sits atop the bonus leader board as the UFC’s most decorated bonus-fighter. He shares that spot with only one other person; Anderson Silva.
The amazing thing about Lauzon’s bonus accomplishments (6 SOTN, 5 FOTN & 1 KOTN) is that its total outstrips his win count. Simply put, that’s incredible. It’s particularly amazing when we consider that Lauzon lost 4 or his 5 FOTN bouts and that 1 of them, his bout with Jim Miller (UFC 155), ended up as FOTY; a credit that even the great Anderson Silva doesn’t have.
In speaking with “MMA Junkie Radio” and ahead of his upcoming bout with Michael Johnson (UFC Fight Night 26, August 17), Lauzon said that he is looking to become the all-time bonus leader and sole man atop the leader board and (jokingly) that he’d like to cement himself there permanently.
As Lauzon stated:
"This is my opportunity, so I'm going to get a bonus, then petition to get it changed to the 'Joe Lauzon bonus…I'll tell Dana I changed my stance on fighter pay and that we need to do away with bonuses, so I could remain the all-time leader."
In looking at his match-up, he’s been given an opponent that’s never been KO’d or TKO’d in the UFC, but has been submitted twice. In return, his opponent has never submitted anyone in the big promotion, but has stopped 2 of his bouts by way of KO & TKO and has one KOTN bonus of his own, to his credit.
If Lauzon is to claim top spot on the bonus leader board, then my guess is that he’s apt to do it by submission and as always, as Lauzon brings a barn-burner pace to a fight and is willing to take risks, he might also coax out of Johnson a FOTN, as well. Taking that into consideration, then perhaps Lauzon will be looking to put 2 bonuses between himself and Anderson Silva, and not just 1.