In an age where many of the UFC’s biggest names are injured or retired, the promotion could certainly use someone like Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon. However, the UFC lightweight, tied with Anderson Silva for the most post-fight bonuses, has not fought since December 2013, when he earned a unanimous decision victory over Mac Danzig.

Although we sometimes tend to forget that fighters have personal lives outside of the cage, that doesn’t mean that we can’t selfishly want them to fight as soon as possible. Nevertheless, fear not, all you fans of exciting fights: “J-Lau” is coming back soon. Right now, he’s just enjoying his time off between outings.

“It’s going well,” Lauzon told The MMA Corner. “I had a baby a couple of months ago, so kind of dealing with all his stuff. Just being a dad is all kind of new, but everything’s been good. Just getting back into training a little bit. Gym’s been doing really well. Just really happy with everything.”

One might expect a fighter to have a tough exterior about fatherhood, but Lauzon doesn’t try to hide his enjoyment of his new role in life.

“I love being around Joey and doing all that stuff with him. It’s tough to leave sometimes,” he admitted. “Like, I’m holding him and I just don’t want to leave, and not go to the gym, so that part’s a little tough.”

Sleep—it’s one thing all new parents want, but it’s never easy to find. It’s been one of the hardest adjustments for Lauzon.

“I wake up in the middle of the night and have to feed him, and things like that,” said Lauzon. “I don’t need food [and] I don’t need water, but I definitely need my sleep. That’s the only thing I need.”

Hopefully The Ultimate Fighter 5 alum will start to get some sleep again this summer. He informed The MMA Corner that he’s aiming for a comeback in August or September.

“I’m focusing on the baby stuff for now,” Lauzon added. “I keep in pretty good contact with [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva. I talk to him about every couple of weeks to let him know what’s going on, give him an update on Joey or whatever. So, I told him August or September.”

Having a child gives a person a whole new sense of perspective. It acts as a wakeup call. Although Lauzon acknowledges how different it is to have to care for someone else’s life, he joked how he’d always been a 40-year-old at heart anyway. Lauzon has been in his fair share of tough, back-and-forth fights. But, as a new father, can he afford to have these epic wars in the Octagon?

“I did an interview, and I was talking about how fighters need to be conscious about all the head trauma and stuff like that. I think people ran away with that too much,” said Lauzon. “I don’t think that I’m getting all kinds of unnecessary head trauma. Do I think I’m getting more than your average accountant or someone? A little more, probably, but the accountant could go get in a car accident tomorrow and be really messed up. It’s something to think about, but I always spend money to have the best gear.”

Preparing intelligently, while a big part of staying physically and mentally healthy, is not everything that Lauzon takes into consideration.

“My ideal fight is to get in there and submit a guy quickly. I don’t have to punch him. He doesn’t have to punch me,” said Lauzon. “A lot of other guys try to go out there and have this war. They try to have this war of attrition where I’m going to hit you, you’re going to hit me and we’re going to see who’s more of a man. That’s never really been my philosophy.”

Lauzon was quick to point out that UFC fighters do not get paid by the round. However, that does not mean that they should be lacking in the excitement department, according to Lauzon.

“If you don’t want to get cut, have exciting fights,” he said. “Win in exciting fashion. Don’t just have a boring style, because, yeah, you won, but it’s not just about winning. It’s about keeping people entertained and people wanting to see you fight.”

This philosophy on fighting is something Lauzon tries to pass on to all his fighters since he started his gym, Lauzon MMA, 10 years ago.

“I get way more enjoyment out of watching my guys win than winning myself,” Lauzon confessed. “I think a good coach should kind of be like a good boss, in that you should never be holding guys back. You should always get better.”

It turns out that part of making a team means letting some people go even if they have impressive records.

“We’ve had guys that were on the verge of getting in the UFC—local champs, things like that—but they weren’t a good fit for our gym and we told them you got to go find another place to go,” revealed Lauzon. “If you have one bad apple in a group, you’re going to lose lots of good guys.”

This scenario has only happened a handful of times, according to Lauzon, but the results have paid off in the long term.

“I think that we’re the best gym in New England,” said Lauzon. “I think that fighting other guys from other local gyms is always good for us. We do really well. We let the results speak for themselves.”

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.