The historic UFC Fight Night 26: "Shogun vs. Sonnen" event tonight (Sat., Aug. 17, 2013) at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts, kicked off its main card on Fox Sports 1 with a lightweight battle pitting perennial contender Joe Lauzon against former Ultimate Fighter finalist Michael Johnson.
All was going well early for Lauzon, the hometown boy, but while he was rushing in to exchange punches with the lanky striker Johnson, he got clipped with a hard straight left hand down the pipe.
"J-Lau" went right to his ass and struggled to recover, though he did just that.
They continued but toward the end of the round, Johnson landed a few more hard lefts as his southpaw stance stifled his struggling opponent. The finish never came, but it was close.
During second stanza, Lauzon picked up the pace a bit, getting more aggressive in his offense and firing off bigger shots in response to the power Johnson was offering. However, "The Menace" lived up to his moniker by relentlessly firing off punches of his own, this time to mixed results.
He did score a late takedown.
It was clear into the third that Johnson was simply the superior fighter, at least on this night in this cage in this 15 minute time frame. He stuffed all of Lauzon's takedowns, he landed far more damaging offense, and overall controlled the action all throughout.
One hell of a performance from a fighter who could have been facing the firing line with a loss.
Final scores from the judges: 30-27, 30-27, and 30-25.
For complete UFC Fight Night 26 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.