What happened with Joe Lauzon against George Sotiropoulos at UFC 123 can somewhat be compared to what happened with Shane Carwin against Brock Lesnar at UFC 116. They both looked great in the first round, they both looked spent in round two and they were both submitted; Carwin at 2:19 of the second round and Lauzon at 2:43 of the second round.
Lauzon explains what he felt like as round two began:
“I figured the second round would be more like the first. But getting off the stool for the second round, my legs felt like concrete. I don’t know why or what happened. I felt pretty good at the end of the first, but at the beginning of the second I felt dead. It was like I got worse. Instead of recovering, I got way worse.”
Fifteen of Lauzon’s 19 wins have come by submission. At his best, he is fast, aggressive and far from easy to submit. However, mentally checking out while on the ground with Sotiropoulos is the last thing anyone wants. Lauzon explained what happened:
“I just kind of left my arm there. I don’t know if I just thought I was going to stuff him and just keep my hand to my chest. It was a mental lapse on my part.”
Prior to the Sotiropoulos fight, Lauzon only had two UFC losses, Sam Stout and Kenny Florian. In the Stout fight, Lauzon was coming back from knee surgery and the Florian fight was at high altitude in Colorado; both good reasons to show endurance issues.
Florian seemed more perplexed by what happened against Sotiropoulos and figures it must have been an adrenaline dump:
“It had to be an adrenaline dump. I think I pushed a pretty good pace in the first round, but I didn’t feel like it was something that would make me gassed. I felt good at the end of my first walking back to my corner. I was a little winded, but I was OK.”
Shane Carwin determined what happened to him against Lesnar was due to lactic acid build-up in those mountains of flesh-covered boulders he calls muscles. He also out-weighs Lauzon by at least 100 pounds. It is at least understandable how someone of Carwin’s size can have cardio and endurance issues, but it is much rarer to see a lightweight have these sort of problems.
Lauzon goes on to say it is an issue he and his camp definitely have to address before he fights again. It is something he will have to correct if he is ever going to make a run at the title, that is for sure.
Editor’s note: Not to brag… okay to brag a little, I specifically remembered Lauzon’s endurance issues from the past and called it in our ProMMAnow.com UFC 123 staff picks: ”Lauzon is nearly impossible to submit but I think Sotiropoulos teaches him a lesson in this one with a third round submission as Joe’s cardio starts to fade.”
HT: Boston Herald