UFC 155: Joe Lauzon vs. Gray Maynard Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2012

UFC 155: Joe Lauzon vs. Gray Maynard Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    UFC 155 currently plays host to the last show of 2012—a heavyweight championship fight and an important lightweight bout between contenders Joe Lauzon and Gray Maynard.

    Currently, Lauzon and Maynard are among the several top contenders in the 155-pound division, including such other names as Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz. Styles make fights, and this one should be interesting.

    Here is a head-to-toe breakdown of this key lightweight affair.

Striking

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    The striking aspect of this fight will be surprisingly close. Both men are underrated boxers with shocking power.

    In one corner you have Lauzon, who only owns four career knockouts. This stat may be deceiving because when he rocks his opponent, he will submit them on the ground (Melvin Guillard, for example).

    Former title challenger Maynard has displayed his improved boxing in both title fights with Frankie Edgar, hurting the former champion with technique and power strikes. Maynard can put people to sleep with his hands, which highlights his transformation into a complete fighter.

    The Xtreme Couture product earns the edge here.

    Edge: Maynard

Wrestling

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    The difference in wrestling credentials is huge here. Lauzon has no wrestling background, while Maynard is a Division I All-American wrestler.

    Maynard uses his wrestling to dominate his opponents in most fights. His takedowns are relentless and his top game is tough to deal with.

    Lauzon has decent takedowns of his own, but his wrestling chops don't nearly match those of Maynard.

    Therefore, the edge here is obvious.

    Edge: Maynard

Grappling/Submissions

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    While wrestling falls in the corner of Maynard, it may be canceled out by the grappling and submission ability of Joe Lauzon.

    Lauzon is a fantastic finisher when he is on the ground. Even if Maynard gets him down, Lauzon will fish for submissions off his back. His most recent win saw him win by triangle choke off his back against Jamie Varner.

    Maynard, on the other hand, is only a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is not the most comfortable off his back. Although he's not bad on the bottom, he owns no career submissions. His ground style is more of a ground-and-pound approach.

    Edge: Lauzon

Intangibles

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    The first intangible will be finishing ability. Gray Maynard has only finished two fights in his career, while Lauzon has finished all 22 of his wins. If Maynard tries to cruise through this fight safely, he could get caught. He must finish it.

    Another intangible is Maynard's difficulty in fighting guys like Lauzon. Lauzon is a submission specialist with good boxing, which has given Maynard trouble in the past. Nate Diaz was the biggest thorn in Maynard's side, though he has redeemed himself with his win over Kenny Florian.

    If Lauzon can fight a Nate Diaz-type fight, Maynard could face some stiff resistance. 

Prediction

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    This fight is going to be an interesting one. Styles make fights, and this one could be a lot closer than expected.

    Maynard is much improved since his one-dimensional wrestling days. He will try to strike with Lauzon, knowing that Lauzon is incredibly dangerous on the ground.

    Should Maynard take Lauzon down, it will be a snooze fest. He will "score points" on the ground and not do much.

    Lauzon is tough to finish, though Maynard has the power to finish anybody.

    Prediction: Maynard def. Lauzon via decision