Joe Lauzon and Dana White seem to have different views about a conversation they had prior to UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston.
According to the UFC president, Lauzon agreed to retire regardless of the result of Friday’s bout at TD Garden. Things went well for the Bridgewater, Mass., native in front of his hometown fans, as he stopped Contender Series alum Jonathan Pearce with punches 1:33 into the opening stanza.
“Me and Joe Lauzon had a deal that he would retire after this fight, win, lose, or draw,” White said at Friday’s post-fight press conference. “And he didn’t do it. What better way to go out than tonight? He beat a real guy tonight. He beat a tough guy that I bet a lot of people didn’t think he was gonna beat and he made it look easy.
“This is one of those things when you’re talking to a guy who loves to fight like Joe Lauzon loves to fight and the Chuck Liddells and many, many more in the past that I’ve dealt with,” White said. “It’s so hard to walk away – [they say] ‘I looked great tonight,’ and then if they lose, ‘Well, I can’t go out like this. Getting beat in my hometown in front of all my…’ It’s just…you know.”
Lauzon, a veteran of 43 professional bouts, ended a three-fight skid with the victory. While the 35-year-old admits that he had to do some convincing to get another chance in the Octagon, he claims he only agreed to call it a career if he lost.
"When I texted Dana, I told Dana, 'Look, give me one more shot. If the fight does not go well, I promise you'll never hear from me about fighting again,’” Lauzon said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “And he said, ‘Deal.’ “
Lauzon, who has 27 appearances with the Las Vegas-based promotion, made his debut in 2006 at UFC 63, where he upset Jens Pulver with a 48-second knockout. Over the course of his tenure, he’s bested the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Melvin Guillard, Jamie Varner, Michael Chiesa, Takanori Gomi and Diego Sanchez. The Lauzon MMA founder isn’t committing to making a decision on his career just yet.
"They're looking out for me," he said of the UFC. "I definitely understand. But I'm not 100 percent closing the door.”