UFC 155 Fight Card: Can Joe Lauzon Go from Exciting Fighter to Legit Contender?

Anthony Fusco@fusconation16Correspondent IIIDecember 26, 2012

August 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Joe Lauzon puts Jamie Varner  into submission during the lightweight match at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Lauzon is the epitome of an exciting fighter. In his 22 career wins, he has never seen a decision. That is quite an amazing feat.

He also holds 11 post-fight bonus awards. Four of those are Fight of the Night, six are Submission of the Night and one was a Knockout of the Night performance against Jens Pulver in his UFC debut.

Many are wondering if, and when, Lauzon will take the next step in his career and make the transition from exciting fighter to legitimate lightweight contender. Let's take a look at some facts.

Lauzon is 28 years old. Many fighters hit their prime between the ages of 28 and 30. Lauzon has lost four times in his UFC career. Two of those were to Kenny Florian and Sam Stout. The third was to George Sotiropoulos, when he was at the height of his seven-fight winning streak.

His latest loss was to top lightweight contender Anthony Pettis. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Lauzon has always bounced back after losing as well. That shows he goes back and makes improvements to his game.

He has been near the top of the lightweight division for a while now. In his UFC 155 fight against injury replacement Jim Miller, he has the chance to knock off another fighter who constantly hovers near the top as well.

If Lauzon is to win his fight against Miller, a few things will need to happen. Lauzon will need to start out fast and not let Miller dictate the pace. He will also need to maintain pressure and keep Miller on his toes with his striking or submissions.

Miller has the stronger wrestling, but Lauzon has the better striking. Lauzon should look to control Miller with his striking, and that could either set up a knockout or a submission. Miller has an iron chin, but that should not stop Lauzon from trying to find it.

If Lauzon wins this fight, he should be considered a legitimate lightweight contender. He has all the skills, is coming into his physical prime and is ready to show he is an elite fighter. With a win against Miller, Lauzon would be one step closer to reaching his goal.

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