Photo via UFC.com
According to "J-Lau," he was. But if history has taught us anything in this sport, it's that you probably shouldn't be talking about a title shot until you actually earn one.
That's because getting a number one contendership bout is often harder than getting the belt itself, as the UFC continues to stack its 155-pound division with world-class talent.
You know the old adage about "Any Given Sunday?" Well, on any given Saturday night, a heavily-favored fighter can end up getting "put down" if they make even the slightest error in judgment.
Such was the case when an overconfident Melvin Guillard found himself strangled out of title contention on the main card of the UFC 136: "Edgar vs. Maynard III" pay-per-view on Oct. 8 in Houston, Texas.
Lauzon tells UFC.com the "Young Assassin" was supposed to knock him out en route to his title shot -- until the Bostonian "shut that down."
"It's a big win. Melvin won five or six in a row, something crazy. He was supposed to knock me out and then, I put him down. I'm glad I got the finish. It means everything, especially against a guy like Melvin [who's] super-talented, beat a lot of really good guys. They were talking about Melvin getting a title shot and I just shut that down, took it to him and I'm super-happy with my performance."
Lauzon's rear naked choke, which came after he stunned Guillard in the opening frame, earned him a $75,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus at the UFC 136 post-fight press conference.
It's unlikely that "J-Lau" will assume his former opponent's spot in the 155-pound pecking order, but it definitely narrows the field. Guillard was one of the names at the top of a very short list that also includes the winner of Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida at UFC on Fox in just over a month.
So how about it Maniacs, now that Guillard is out of the running, who do you like as the next man to challenge Frankie Edgar for the promotion's lightweight title?
I hear Gilbert Melendez has been on the phone all night ...