UFC on Fox 9: What We Learned from Joe Lauzon vs. Mac Danzig

Matthew RyderFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

December 13, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; UFC lightweight fighter Joe Lauzon participates in the official weigh-in for UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking things off at UFC on Fox 9 was an exciting matchup between scrappy lightweights with a penchant for violence. Joe Lauzon and Mac Danzig met up in Sacramento to welcome the national audience to the airwaves, with Lauzon coming out on top in typical, chaotic Lauzon fashion.


What We'll Remember About This Fight

Both guys come to fight as a rule, and they did on Saturday. If you don't remember that they fought five years from now, and someone brings it up, you'll probably say: "They fought? That was probably pretty good."

And you'd be right. It was.

Danzig looked better when the fight was standing, while Lauzon was better on the ground. The fight was contested down more than up, and Lauzon took it as a result.


What We Learned About Joe Lauzon

He's a relentless wild man who is willing to take chances to win without involving the judges. If he sees something, particularly on the ground, he's going all in and worrying about the consequences later.

It costs him on some nights, but on other nights, it secures him a bunch of glory and Uncle Dana's money. At UFC of Fox 9, he got the glory.

We already knew that, you say? Hmm. I probably could have saved my fingers a bit of work then.


What We Learned About Mac Danzig

When he's appropriately inspired, there's still evidence that he can be something. Even at 33 years old and with a plethora of UFC experience behind him, he shows new wrinkles in each fight. In that sense, he's one of the purer martial artists in the sport.

On Saturday night, his stand-up looked tight and crisp when the fight was on the feet. Interestingly, Lauzon's striking looked good in the early going as well, although he had trouble with Danzig's aggression and technique.

Unfortunately, the fight wasn't on the feet enough for Danzig to steal a win. He had too much difficulty with Lauzon's overwhelming ground attack to get the W.


What's Next for Lauzon?

It's hard to know what to do with him. He's better than a gatekeeper and young enough that he might have time to develop and improve. But he has trouble beating the upper echelon at lightweight.

Coming off this win, it may make sense to book him against Nate Diaz. They have similar go-for-broke approaches to the game and are at similar places in their careers. The fight guarantees fireworks.


What's Next for Danzig?

The days of him being a hot prospect are long over, and precisely just one of his UFC wins is over a guy still on the roster. Throw in losing three in a row for the second time in his promotional run, and he's likely looking at a pink slip.

If he somehow avoids the ax, he would have to fight the bottom of the barrel at 155 or try a new weight class. I'll say he fights Hatsu Hioki at 145 because the UFC has invested in Danzig for so long, but he should be released, given the premium on roster spots these days.