Photo Credit: David Schneidler for USA TODAY Sports

Both on two-fight losing streaks, lightweight veterans Joe Lauzon and Chris Gruetzemacher badly needed a win in the opening main card bout of tonight’s (Sat., April 7, 2018) UFC 223 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The action kicked off in NYC with Lauzon pressing the pace with big punches early, with many landing effectively. He got a little wild with a few, however, but he rebounded with a pinpoint step-in elbow that hit Gruetzemacher flush.

He ate it like a champ, turning the tide by landing in top position to score with shots to the body. Lauzon looked to lock up one of his patented fight-ending submissions, searching a for a kneebar and a heel hook. Gruetzemacher spun out of danger but ate a big knee from Lauzon on the feet. He followed with an elbow and Gruetzemacher went to work with some light shots in dirty boxing range.

Gruetzemacher landed a big uppercut as Lauzon got a little sloppy and sluggish. Hard punches including hooks and an uppercut landed for Gruetzemacher, and he continued pouring it on in the final minute of the round. Combos landed crisply, and elbows battered “J-Lau” as the bell sounded on the opening frame of the UFC 223 main card.

“Gritz” came out stalking once again in the second, and Lauzon attempted a takedown. Lauzon’s eye was swollen badly as Gruetzemacher poured on the damage as he worked the body and head. Vicious combinations flowed in from all angles and brutal uppercuts scored without fail. More straight shots peppered Lauzon, and Gruetzemacher threw more singing elbows.

Another uppercut to the body hit, and Lauzon somehow found a second wind to push forward with some shots. Gruetzemacher persevered with knees to the body, and as he landed more and more punches Lauzon’s face was bloodied badly. More uppercuts came and Lauzon’s face was reminiscent of his UFC 155 war with Jim Miller. A punch rocked Lauzon and more shots cored as Lauzon somehow made it out of the frame.

The third and final round never came as Dan Miragliotta mercifully stopped the fight after Lauzon’s corner called it off after a hard-to-watch, bloody second frame.

Final Result: Chris Gruetzemacher def. Joe Lauzon via R2 TKO (Corner Stoppage, 5:00)