Lundell helping Lauzon put on finishing touches
Joe Lauzon has a stow-away in his basement.
Ever heard of Ricky Lundell?—No? Perfect, neither had I. There’s a couple of things you should know about him right off the bat though, he lives in Orem, Utah, he’s a devoted husband and stepfather of two, his zodiac sign is Taurus, and oh yeah—he’s an absolute fucking phenom.
He swore he had never heard of the 90’s television show, “Smart Guy” when I drew the connection from his story to the main character’s story—but the show might as well have been inspired by his life. After testing into and attending college straight out of private school at age fifteen—he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science; he was 18. After college, he attended college again—actually, wait. First, let me explain what he’s doing in Joe Lauzon’s basement. He isn’t out here tutoring Joe in science; he’s tutoring Joe in another area of expertise he’s been fostering since youth—grappling wizardry
In 1992 there were two Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academies in the United states—the inaugural U.S academy in California and then one in Utah, opened by Pedro Sauer. Ricky’s dad initiated his son’s activity in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by walking him into Sauer’s academy when he was only six. Pedro Sauer became his mentor, a second-father of sorts, and the major reason why he’s at where he’s at today. When I spoke with Ricky, I asked him a question–“When did you realize you were athletic; was it a certain point early on or was it something you had to really work at?” He told me that he believes more in will-power and work ethic. And Ricky knows that he’s naturally athletic—he knows that he’s super athletic, but he won’t tell you, rather, he’ll show you. You listen to him instruct and you’ll know exactly what kind of confidence he possesses. I’m not talking synthesized confidence—I’m talking confidence like: ‘why else would arguably, the pound-for-pound, best wrestler on the planet recruit him to his team when the kid had no prior experience?’
Cael Sanderson. If you don’t know who he is and you’re reading this article, then you need to go find out. Nothing more needs to be said about Cael, other than he will widely be considered a legend in the sport of wrestling for years and years to come. Well, Cael himself actually recruited Ricky to wrestle at Iowa State University. He saw him win at the FILA worlds in submission grappling and that was that. Ricky had never wrestled before. So it has to make you wonder, why this kid’s name hasn’t yet reached main stream heights.
Dan Lauzon told me the other day that Ricky knows things about grappling that wouldn’t just help you, but would literally thrust your game higher than you could even imagine. He’s a wizard. We compete in and follow a sport that is still just learning how to walk. MMA has been around for less than 20 years and Ricky Lundell has already managed to become one of the most efficient, hybrid- grapplers you could ever meet and learn from. His mix of top-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and top-level wrestling is the reason why he’s sought out by guys like Frank Mir, The Nogueira’s, and Sean Sherk.
Your environment, as an athlete in this sport is what makes you. It’s the information you allow in, and it’s the people that you found or the people that find you. That’s what Ricky told me. He believes that that’s what molded him and he believes that’s the difference with Joe Lauzon; that Joe is a cut above the rest because he doesn’t only take in knowledge from what’s at arm’s reach—but he keeps on reaching out with the desire for more. Joe brought Ricky in to help him for this camp. So what can you get from a guy, who reached out to another guy, who’s entire life has been about somehow finding the right kind of giants to be around? We’ll have to see.
Watch Joe Lauzon versus Melvin Guillard on Saturday, October 8th.
Hit up www.JoeLauzon.com for more on Joe and where to follow him for this fight.
And to get a look inside of Cael Sanderson and Ricky Lundell’s grappling program and gym in Utah–www.UniversityofGrappling.com.