“Performance of the Night”-winning machine, Joe Lauzon, looked to add another exciting highlight to his reel tonight (Sat., April 7, 2018) when he kicked off UFC 223’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card against Chris Gruetzemacher inside Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, New York.
Unfortunately for him, though, it appears that all the wars and electrifying performances have finally caught up with him once and for all.
Both fighters came out of their corner throwing heat, as Lauzon seemed to put together the better combinations. Gruetzemacher nailed him with a nice hard right, but Lauzon responded with an ankle-pick takedown. Gruetzemacher didn’t stay on the mat long, though, getting back to his feet and playing a dangerous game of jiu-jitsu standing over Lauzon. From the bottom, Lauzon angled for a kneebar, but Gruetzemacher was able to defend well and eventually break free. Once back on the feet, Lauzon landed a nice elbow, while Gruetzemacher started to unleash some effective dirty boxing. With one minute to go in the round, Gruetzemacher started putting together some solid combinations, including uppercuts, perhaps winning him the opening frame.
Gruetzemacher came out for the second stanza as the aggressor, drilling Lauzon with a low kick and then several solid shots upstairs. Just one minute into the round, Lauzon’s face was bloody and swollen, wincing as if he could not see out of his right eye. Gruetzemacher continued to pour on the pressure, nailing him with knees to the body and boxing him up along the fence. Back in the center of the Octagon, Gruetzemacher continued to land at will, particularly short elbows to the face as Lauzon tried to mount some sort of defense, but there was nothing behind his shots. Gruetzemacher continued to score points with hard shots to Lauzon’s blood-soaked face, including a hard uppercut and several other unanswered shots. He worked the body, too, completely breaking down Lauzon heading into the third and final round.
Between rounds, it was clear that Lauzon was a complete mess — he couldn’t see out of both his eyes they were so swollen. His corner did its best to clean him up, but the referee was not sold, telling Lauzon and his corner that he had enough, calling a stop to the bout before he endured any additional unnecessary damage.
It’s crystal clear that Lauzon’s best days are behind him. He’s nevertheless tough as nails, but he just doesn’t have the same enduring aggression and endurance that made him such an exciting fan favorite. He’s put himself through an insane amount of punishment throughout his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. And on the heels of his third straight defeat -- and fourth in his last five appearances — he might want to consider winding down his MMA career.
For complete UFC 223: “Khabib vs. Iaquinta” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.