by:  Jack Bratcher

As most MMA fans know, the leading MMA clothing line and UFC sponsor, Tapout, has a television show that airs on Versus.  On the show, the Tapout crew made up of Mask, Skyscrape, and Punkass, travel around the country in their pimped out RV scouting out fighters to sponsor and  helping their fighters in various ways.  They are currently airing the second season and the show that Joe Lauzon is referring to is the second episode of this season which featured his brother, Dan “The Upgrade” Lauzon.

The Tapout crew arrives at Dan’s gym to watch him train and get a feel for how he looks in the cage.  Dan had an upcoming fight just a few days away, so apparently Dan was finished with the hardcore portion of his training regimen and was now at the stage where he was cutting the final few pounds of weight by staying active.

After watching Dan’s “training” session, the Tapout crew was not happy with with what they saw, specifically a drill called “Shark Bait” (aka Round Robin) and also the fact that Dan was rolling with a very young kid who could pose no challenge for Dan.  What happens next is they suggest to Dan that they should all go over to the Sityodtong gym which is also in the Boston area, where they know Dan can get the level of training and sparring partners he needs.  Dan appeases the Tapout crew and goes along with them to the Sityodtong gym, even though he shows no signs of enthusiasm for the change.  Dan has some good reasons to be hesitant.

One reason Dan Lauzon didn’t seem overly thrilled to be going across town to another gym was because his brother Joe had an upcoming fight with Sityodtong’s star pupil, Kenny Florian.  On top of that, Kenny was sure to be there.  It is also very likely that Dan Lauzon had already starred in his famous Youtube video making fun of Kenny and if that was the case, whew…talk about awkward.

According to Joe Lauzon, the whole episode was “garbage.” Joe described it like this,

“Training Hard on Tuesday when the fight is Friday? Terrible idea. The Tapout crew showed up on Monday when the fight was on Friday. What kind of training footage did they really expect to get? They wanted shark baits with fresh guys 4 days before the fight? Are they nuts? I love how they act like the authority on training and fighting when they would even suggest this. We do shark baits like this… when its not 4 days before the fight. Had they come the week before, you would have seen plenty of that. You would have seen one fresh guy after another rotating on Dan to work on his cardio and conditioning.”

Joe went on to say that going to Sityodtong was not something Dan wanted to do but only obliged because they kept pushing the issue.  He said that the training at Sityodtong was no different from what they do at their gyms, but the reason the training appeared to be of a “lower caliber” was due to it being the week of the fight, Dan’s hard training was complete, and he was now just basically cutting weight and staying loose.

Joe also states that the editing job for that episode was horrible and they chopped it up to make it appear how they wanted, partly referring to the way Dan seemed sad and alone when his cornermen weren’t there right when the event started.  Joe said, “They made the gyms, the trainers and the training partners all look like garbage.”  Joe Lauzon started at that gym and has gone on to do very well for himself.  Dan and Joe both have fought in the UFC and have a lot of experience, so for the Tapout crew to come in to their home and suggest it is sub-par did not sit well with the UFC lightweight contender.

The Tapout show seems to be doing well with most MMA fans.  However, questionable editing is something you hear about in reference to many reality shows.  According to Joe, the guys were out of line and maybe it made for good TV, but to them it was “bullshit.”

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