The lightweight bout between George Sotiropoulos and Joe Lauzon at UFC 123 this evening was one that many people, including Dana White had tipped as a potential ‘Fight Of The Night’ and it was certainly an entertaining scrap.
Lauzon came out clearly fired up and quickly gained dominance in the early stand-up exchanges, landing the cleaner, more accurate strikes. Sotiropoulos looked a little slower to get his hands going, but hung in and weathered the early storm.
After a few failed attempts Sotiropoulos finally got the fight to the mat towards the end of the round and began to show the kind of dominant top control and slick guard passing we’ve come to expect from him. A failed armbar attempt then allowed Lauzon to slip out from underneath and end the round landing a few elbows.
In the second it was noticeable that the all-action opening by Lauzon had taken a lot out of him and he was less aggressive and slower to the punch in the second. Meanwhile Sotiropoulos was warming up to the stand-up battle and peppered him with some well placed shots to the head and body before landing a few knees from the clinch.
Taking the fight to the floor once again a tired Lauzon appeared to offer little resistance as Sotiropoulos again gained a dominant position and was able to lock in a fight ending kimura.
The Aussia once again impressed with his ground skills against an opponent with solid BJJ skills of his own, though Lauzon perhaps highlighted a few holes in his top game.
Sotiropoulos now has a perfect 7-0 record in the UFC (four wins by submission) and surely the UFC can’t keep him from a title shot for much longer.
As for Lauzon, he started strongly but he’ll no doubt be disappointed at his gas tank failing him in the second round. He’s now 1-2 in his last three visits to the octagon, but still 6-3 in his UFC career overall.