Florian finishes Lauzon in Fight Night feature
The two Massachusetts natives had to go 2,000 miles to decide who was king of the neighborhood, and when it was over, Kenny Florian won the matchup of lightweight contenders in the main event of UFC Fight Night, defeating Joe Lauzon via TKO at 3:28 of the second round.
After an exciting first round, Florian took control in the second, taking Lauzon down and gaining full mount. Florian dropped down a series of punches but Lauzon surprisingly was able to buck him off and into side control, but Florian regained the dominant position and rained down punches for a full minute until referee Herb Dean called a stop to the action.
The win puts Florian in possible contention for the No. 1 spot after B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk next month.
“I’m not going to let anyone break my will in here,” Florian said after the fight. “That’s what I want to do, take their heart. I want to cut through the layers and find a hole. I was able to take Joe down and we knew there’d be a weakness in Joe there.”
Though Lauzon lost, he certainly showed he has the tools to compete at a high level. The first round featured a frantic series of exchanges that had the crowd buzzing.
Florian looked like an animal early. Lauzon took him down but Florian landed a series of elbows that opened a cut on the back of Lauzon’s head and caused the ref to warn him. Florian then connected on a kick to the ribs that caused Lauzon to wince before Florian got the takedown and landed offense. But Lauzon took the fight right to his opponent, trying a pair of heel hooks that could have ended matters early. Florian fell back on his black belt pedigree and was able to withstand and then escape the holds, and at the end of the round, had Lauzon in trouble with late ground-and-pound.
Should Florian become the No. 1 contender, he has a history with Sean Sherk, as they previously fought in a lightweight title match in October 2006. Since then, Florian has retooled his diet and training programs en route to winning four straight fights (three by submission before Wednesday night’s TKO). While he’s never fought Penn, the Hawaii native is a training partner of Lauzon’s and stands to gain from what Florian’s opponent learned in the cage.
By Mike Chiappetta NBCSports.com
Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 in Updates.
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