Joe Lauzon, 26, has practiced Jiu-Jitsu since 2001, and his record now boasts nineteen wins and five losses. And even with eight fights in the UFC (6w, 2l) under his belt, the fighter from Massachussets wants to carry on evolving.
The UFC athlete is brushing up on his Jiu-Jitsu with Brazil’s Abmar Barbosa, and the work has been paying off.
In his last fight, Joe exhibited a slick ground game in finishing Gabe Ruediger in the first round. His next commitment, on the 20th at UFC 123 – Lyoto vs. Rampage, will be the acid test: he’s going to face Australia’s Georges Sotiropoulos, a gentle art black belt.
After an hour’s training with Abmar, Joe had a chat with GRACIEMAG.com:
How important is Jiu-Jitsu in your game?
Jiu-Jitsu is definitely the most important part of my game. I started with Jiu-Jitsu and when something goes bad, I always revert back to it.
Jiu-Jitsu is king when it comes to mixed martial arts. For me, though, Jiu-Jitsu starts on the feet and begins with a takedown. Pulling guard is not very smart in MMA, but when your Jiu-Jitsu includes good takedowns, it is definitely the best.
When did you start Jiu-Jitsu?
I started training Jiu-Jitsu in 2001, while in high school.
Was your fight at UFC 118 the best of your career?
My last fight was great. I was sharp all the way around… with my boxing, wrestling, and most importantly, my Jiu-Jitsu. I fought a black belt and was a few steps ahead of him the entire fight.
How has training with Abmar Barbosa been?
Abmar is the best at breaking things down for me so I can understand and make the most of my time. We do a lot of drilling of specific positions and he is like a drill sergeant going over and over. My training camp for this fight has been great and I will definitely be ready!