File Photo: Sherdog.com
Prelim fights are a lot like “Futurama” -- spectacular entertainment that is mostly appreciated by nerds of epic proportions. The prelim slate for UFC 113 is another quality collection of bouts that will satisfy many a fight nerd while hopefully winning over the masses in attendance.
So whether it’s Tom Lawlor’s acid-soaked pop culture parade, the neck-cranking general Yoshiyuki Yoshida or half-man/half-naval carrier Tim Hague, there are reasons galore to get hype and hope these scraps make their way onto the pay-per-view broadcast.
Before you start gnawing the drywall in anticipation, get your fight knowledge fix from a fellow nerd.
Joe Doerksen vs. Tom Lawlor
The Breakdown: Perhaps the only man in modern sports capable of executing tributes to the “Just Bleed” guy and Hulk Hogan in a 24-hour span, Lawlor has proven he’s worth more than a chuckle with a surprising blend of stout wrestling and polished boxing. Now on the rebound after losing a tough-luck split decision to the wrestle-beast known as Aaron Simpson, Lawlor will look for a quick exit from the prelim doldrums at the expense of returning Octagon veteran Joe Doerksen.
Doerksen is taking this fight on barely three weeks’ notice. That is nowhere near as important as the fact that Lawlor is much better than him at beating people up. With over a decade in the game, Doerksen is starting to show the wear and tear of his 50-plus professional fights, and Lawlor just isn’t a good matchup for his style. Doerksen is typically at his best when he can suck opponents to the mat and use his slick guard to keep them off balance and latch onto submissions. He isn’t going to get Lawlor horizontal, though.
The reason why isn’t even that Lawlor is the better wrestler. Instead, Doerksen’s leaden footwork will make it impossible for him to get a hold of Lawlor. The single most impressive part of Lawlor’s evolution as a boxer has been his adoption of fundamentally sound movement, which allows him to attack at angles and makes it difficult for opponents to line up takedown attempts. While it would be interesting to see Lawlor’s submission defense put through the wringer, Doerksen is about four years too late to apply for that job.
The Bottom Line: Doerksen was cut from the UFC way back when because his chin is a punch magnet and his wrestling does his jiu-jitsu no favors. Lawlor is tailored like Ric Flair’s suits to beat up guys cut from Doerksen’s cloth.