BOSTON – Michael Johnson certainly didn’t look like a fighter who had the deck stacked against him on Saturday.
Johnson was a betting underdog against Joe Lauzon, and Lauzon’s hometown crowd certainly didn’t make Johnson feel welcome early. But then Johnson shut all that down, dominating Lauzon for 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision upset win.
The lightweight bout took place today at UFC Fight Night 26 at Boston’s TD Garden. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and Facebook.
Lauzon had the crowd behind him in a big way early, but he stayed composed and waited for his opening. Johnson peppered jabs and kicks early, but it was nothing threatening. A couple minutes in, Lauzon looked like he wanted a takedown, but Johnson shrugged him off. Johnson wasn’t afraid to get inside and threw uppercuts and body punches that got Lauzon’s attention enough to finally force him to throw a few punches in return.
Johnson then caught Lauzon with a hard straight left that put the Boston-area native on the canvas. Johnson was careful to not rush in, and back on the feet the two exchanged with big punches as Lauzon recovered. But Johnson continued to come forward late in the round with body-head. And again he dropped Lauzon, and the hometown favorite was fortunate to survive the round.
Lauzon clinched up with Johnson early in the second and looked to take the fight to the ground, where he would have a clear advantage after being beat up on the feet in the first. But Johnson survived the takedown attempt, and Lauzon looked to take advantage with “The Menace” appearing to slow down.
Lauzon landed a good left hand, then ate a few Johnson uppercuts right after. With 90 seconds left, Lauzon landed and forced Johnson to tie things up on the fence, where they quickly were urged to work by Yves Lavigne. With 20 seconds left in the round, Lauzon came forward perhaps looking to secure the round – but a Johnson takedown may have stolen it right back.
Ninety seconds into the third, Johnson put together a prolonged combination of punches, elbows, kicks and knees, and Lauzon just had little to offer in response. Johnson scored a takedown late in the fight, a cap to a dominating upset in hostile territory. Johnson took the fight with a pair of 30-27 scores – and a 30-25, with one judge giving him a pair of 10-8 rounds.
“This was definitely my best performance, not just because of how I performed but who I performed against,” Johnson said. “This training camp was push, push, push because I was the underdog from the moment we signed to fight Lauzon. I got booed at weigh-ins, and that’s all the motivation I needed to come out here in his hometown and do it right. Joe is one of the guys I respected and wanted to fight from the time I got into the UFC. I knew he’d be willing to compete with me where the fight was tough. He brought out the best in me.”
Johnson (13-8 MMA, 5-4 UFC) snapped a two-fight losing skid with his first win since October 2012. Lauzon (22-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) now has lost back-to-back fights after a December loss to Jim Miller and he has dropped three of his past four.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 26 results include:
John Morgan and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on-site in Boston.view original article >>
After back-to-back weeks of upsets on The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion, one of the favorites reminded everyone that Cinderella stories are rare. Former Invicta FC flyweight champion Barb Ho read news >>
Michael Johnson, now 31, doesn’t have time to waste if he moves down to featherweight.Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>
Check out the video highlights and photo gallery from today’s official UFC Fight Night 118 fighter weigh-ins in Gdansk, Poland.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>
Check out our exclusive ceremonial weigh-ins video and photo gallery for UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>
Check out the best photos from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland.Filed under: News, Photo Gallery, UFC read news >>
Josh Emmett says his goal all along was to drop down to featherweight, and now that he has, he’s ready to fight anyone.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>
Darren Till delivered in a big way as he stalked Donald Cerrone across the Octagon with an aggressive game plan, throwing straight punches down the middle, repeatedly tagging the former UFC title con read news >>
Rob Font faces Pedro Munhoz on the Brazilian's home turf at UFC Sao Paulo, aiming to make his mark as a bantamweight contender. read news >>
We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 event in Brazil.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
For a guy who wasn’t even on the UFC Fight Night 118 card, Mike Perry had quite the week in Poland.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>