Joe Lauzon made his triumphant return on Friday night at UFC on ESPN 6 from inside TD Garden in Boston, Mass., smashing Tuesday Night Contender prospect Jonathan Pearce in the first round. Not only was it a highlight reel finish on account of how Lauzon trapped Pearce’s arm (watch it here), it also gave Lauzon the most finishes in UFC lightweight history at 13.
Alas, it didn’t get Joe a performance bonus. Maybe that’s because UFC president Dana White is feeling a bit misled by “J-Lau”, who was supposed to announce his retirement after the fight.
“Me and Joe Lauzon had a deal that he would retire after this fight, win, lose, or draw,” White said during UFC Boston’s post-fight press conference (replay HERE). “And he didn’t do it.”
“What better way to go out than tonight?” White continued. “He beat a real guy tonight. He beat a tough guy that I bet a lot of people didn’t think he was gonna beat and he made it look easy.
“This is one of those things when you’re talking to a guy who loves to fight like Joe Lauzon loves to fight and the Chuck Liddells and many, many more in the past that I’ve dealt with. It’s so hard to walk away – (they say) ‘I looked great tonight,’ and then if they lose, ‘Well, I can’t go out like this. Getting beat in my hometown in front of all my…’ It’s just…you know.”
As for what exactly Lauzon is saying? He just sounds like he wants to keep the door open, even if he doesn’t ever walk through it.
“It’s a great way to end it if that’s the end, for sure,” Lauzon said. “But we’ll kind of see how things go. I’m always going to be training, whether I’m cornering or helping out guys. We got a lot of guys that train at my gym now: Rob Font, Calvin Kattar, Mike Rodriguez, Peter Barrett, we’ve got a lot of guys that are always getting in for fights. So I’m in the gym with them all the time anyways.
“We’ll kind of see what happens. I’m not like, ‘This is definitely the last fight,’ but I’m also not saying I’m definitely going to do it again. Tonight was a great night, but I think too many guys kind of fall into the trap of like, they have a good fight, like ‘I’m back, here we go!’ I’m not there, but we’ll take it and we’ll see what happens. Maybe I fight in six months, maybe I fight in a year, maybe I’m done, who knows? I’m not going to commit to anything. I’ll stay in the USADA pool. I don’t mind. They come banging on my door every once in a while, no big deal. We’ll see what happens.”
Dana White tends to be right about these retirement calls and Lauzon was coming into UFC Boston off a three fight losing skid, with two of those losses via TKO. But he looked so damn good in the cage on Friday night, we don’t fault him for wanting to continue and see what’s up.
Maybe he’ll discover his chin’s gone all Weidman on him. Maybe he can put together one last little run. Or maybe Dana White will make the decision for him and that’s the last we’ll see of Joe Lauzon in the Octagon. If it is, he had a hell of a career and a pretty impressive sendoff.
For complete UFC Boston results and coverage click here.