What a hell of a way to start off the card in Auburn Hills—George Sotiropoulos facing Joe Lauzon.
When people said that Sotiropoulos' bout with Lauzon might be the fight of the night at UFC 123, they were expecting a wild fight of course, but I don't think they were expecting the type of fight that they got to start off this card.
From the time this fight was announced, the beef seemed to be somewhat non-existent, as this fight was initially viewed as "just another lightweight bout" with only the hype of these two coming off of impressive wins to their credit.
Then the talks of Sotiropoulos' ring gear came into question.
Lauzon had been talking off and on about the unique fight gear of his opponent, which had caused Sotiropoulos to retort somewhat before fight time.
After an intense staredown at the weigh-ins, Lauzon and Sotiropoulos finally met in the cage on fight night.
At first, it seemed like Lauzon might score the early TKO win, as Sotiropoulos was ducking and weaving away from some of Lauzon's early shots but eventually found himself getting his quite a bit from the TUF 5 alumnus.
It also appeared that Lauzon's wrestling game might wind up being superior, as Sotiropoulos was aiming for a single-leg but finding his attempts stuffed by the Bridgewater native.
Despite what was a rough first round, Sotiropoulos found himself in control of Lauzon from the full mount and could have scored a quick armbar for a submission win, but he relinquished the hold before the end of the round.
The second round spelled some quicker doom for Lauzon—quicker than expected, anyway.
J-Lau was beating Sotiropoulos, but Lauzon's storm had been weathered and now it was time for the Australian to bring some lightning and some thunder of his own.
With time, Sotiropoulos got the fight back to his safe haven—the ground—and once there, he was able to get Lauzon in side control, where he got a clean bill of control of Lauzon's isolated arm and sunk in a painful kimura for the win.
Where does the 7-0 TUF 6 alumnus go from here?
Fanhouse MMA reports that Dennis Siver could be next for George when the UFC goes down under for UFC 127 in March, a card that will include a Chris Lytle-Carlos Condit bout, a Jorge Rivera-Michael Bisping bout, and a revamped bout that will see BJ Penn fight Jon Fitch—the latter of whom was thought set to face Jake Ellenberger at UFC 126 on Super Bowl weekend.
The submission specialist will definitely find himself in the heat of a wild war when he faces Siver, and with the tear Siver's been on since the loss to Ross Pearson, expect this bout to be as fast-paced as any in the UFC lightweight division.
Dale De Souza is a Man on Fire—or as the regulars of MMA writing call it, a “Featured Columnist"—for Bleacher Report MMA, as well as a contributor to Sprawl-N-Brawl MMA, RealSportsNet, Sports Haze and Hit The Ropes MMA.
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