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UFCs Joe Lauzon returns from goodwill trip to Middle East

Note: Lauzon is penciled in to fight Hermes Franca at UFC Fight Night 7 on February 7, 2009. For more details click here.

E. BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (November 29, 2008) -– UFC lightweight contender Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon’s recent 12-day goodwill trip visiting U.S. military troops in Iraq and Kuwait was a knockout for everybody.

Lauzon (17-4, 4 KOs, 13 submissions), star of The Ultimate Fighter 5 television reality show, was on the trip with fellow mixed-martial arts fighters Jorge Rivera and Heath Herring, as well as some models and ring card girls.

"It was awesome," Lauzon said from home. "It was one of the happiest 12 days of my life. They kept us real busy going from one camp to another. We visited 14 camps in Iraq and Kuwait. The first hour we’d give demonstrations and the second we signed autographs and posed for pictures with them. I was thrilled to see all of them over there, away from their friends and family, but helping all of us back home. It was cool to see how excited and appreciative they were to see us. There are a lot of MMA fans over there, too.

"They watch UFC events on the Armed Forces Network, but, due to the time differences, it’s on there at 3 in the morning. They watch and then start their day at 6. The weather wasn’t bad. They say it hits 150-160 degrees in the summer, but it is dry heat like in Las Vegas, not humid like it is in Massachusetts. It was between 85 and 105, hit 110 once, while we were there but it wasn’t bad at all, especially when I got off the plane back home and it was freezing."

The special guests got to play some poker with the troops, fired weapons a few times, drive around in Humvees, and were transported from camp to camp on Black Hawk helicopters.

"It was a long, busy 12 days," Lauzon concluded. "But I’d definitely do it again. It’s something that I’ll never forget. I’m glad I did it."

For more information about Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon, who has a bachelor’s degree in computer networking from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, go online and visit or

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