Joe Lauzon isn’t shying away from retirement talk, because there are worse ways to retire than at home — but he’s not committing to the idea ahead of UFC Boston either.
Boston, MA — Joe Lauzon has been with the UFC since UFC 63 in 2006. A fan favorite with a pile of post-fight bonuses, the lightweight veteran has hit hard times of late in his fighting career. A three-fight skid underscores that fact, and Lauzon understands that his career could be coming to an end. He’s been open about taking things one fight at a time ahead of this weekend’s UFC Boston, where he returns against Jonathan Pearce.
As open as he’s been about the possibility of retirement, however, the Massachusetts native must be overwhelmed by all the talk and questions on the topic, right? Well, maybe not. Lauzon (27–15) told media outlets including Cageside Press at Wednesday’s UFC Boston media day that he gets it.
“I understand exactly what they’re saying. I’m 35 years old, this is my 27th fight in the UFC,” Lauzon said when asked whether all the retirement talk is an issue for him. “I’ve had a lot of fights, I’ve had a lot of memorable fights. People remember. There’s times I’ve done great, there’s times I’ve been beat up a little bit. People remember that.”
“It’s not a big deal. I understand exactly why they think that, they question it,” he continued. “It’s not a young man’s game. It’s really not. Fighting is tough.” Case in point, as obvious as it may seem: half the card on Friday is going to lose, no matter how hard they train. It’s something fans often overlook. “Even on the best night, half the guys here — they train their butt off, and half of them are going to lose. It’s the very highest of highs, lowest of lows. It’s a tough sport.”
When Lauzon returns to the trying proving ground that is the UFC octagon, it will have been over a year since he last competed. He has no worries, however, about having lost his edge.
“I think ring rust is true to a certain extent, but if you’re having hard rounds in the gym, I don’t think it really matters,” Lauzon told reporters Wednesday. “I’ve had twenty-six fights in the UFC, this will be twenty-seven. The nerves are not going to get to me, being in Boston’s not going to get to me. The crowd going crazy’s not going to get to me.”
“I had a little bit of time off, but honestly it’s a fight sport. You get beat up. Time off I think is good in a lot of cases,” he explained. “It lets your head rest a little bit, it lets your body rest.”
After all, Lauzon pointed out, fighters pile up injury after injury, often small things they can and do fight through. Lauzon himself has had a fight coming up almost constantly since he was 18 years old. “It’s just tough to get any time to just sit back and rest a little bit. And that’s what this was.”
It also gave Lauzon time to change things around in his camp, including adding new coaches. And working on his cardio. “You can’t get in better shape in a short amount of time. I needed the time to just sit back and rework things a little bit.”
And if UFC on ESPN 6 does turn out to be Lauzon’s final bout, well, “there are definitely worse ways to have your last fight than fighting at home, in Boston, and coming out with a good win,” he noted.
Watch the full UFC Boston media day pres scrum with Joe Lauzon above! UFC Boston (UFC on ESPN 6) takes place Friday, October 18 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA.