In an exclusive interview with CagePotato's Elias Cepeda, Joe Lauzon reveals that he asked for the upcoming fight with his fellow TUF 5 alum Gray Maynard at UFC 155. This would be Lauzon's first fight with immediate title shot implications since he fought, and lost to, Kenny Florian in 2008.
“I saw Gray say in an interview that he wanted to coach the next season of TUF against Nate Diaz,” Joe reveals.
“He’s banking on Diaz beating Henderson and wants that title shot and, I guess, a third fight between him and Nate. So I contacted Joe Silva and said that I thought Gray and I could be a cool angle as coaches of TUF. They didn’t do that but later I got a call asking if I wanted to fight Gray on December 29th. It's on the main card of a huge card.”
“Gray is a monster. He’s only lost to Frankie. He’s super tough. Me beating Gray would make a big statement because he’s smashed everyone except for the champ at the time. Even in those fights he had the champ hurt badly at times."
“I’ve grown so much since (the Florian fight). I’m a hundred times stronger now than I was then. At that time I hadn’t touched weights at all. The last couple of years I’ve been much more serious about strength and conditioning. My boxing has gotten much better…I was really just a grappler then. Now I’m much more comfortable on my feet. My defense is better. I’m quicker. And I love Jiu Jitsu and so am constantly improving that.”
“My last fight was the first fight where I really had fun. I was enjoying every second of that fight. That was a big change for me, mentally.”
“I also know that I probably can’t get hit as often by Gray as I did by Varner. Jamie is probably a better boxer than Gray but Gray probably has more power.”
“I really don’t think Gray wants to take me down and sit in my guard. I think I’m a little bit too crafty off of my back, too quick with submissions and sweeps. Like most of his other fights, he will probably want to stand and box. It is probably going to be a kickboxing match and, though I’ve got to be careful, I can do well there. I’ve gotta bring it to him.”
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