Lauzon Bros Prep for UFC Bouts Side By Side

By Loretta Hunt Dec 29, 2009
Christmas Day at the Lauzon house centered on fighting rather than the traditional holiday cheer.

Brothers Joe and Danny are both slated to fight in separate lightweight bouts at UFC 108 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, which will be the first time siblings have appeared in the Octagon on the same night in its 16-year history. (Matt and Mark Hughes, as well as brothers Dan and Jim Miller, have all appeared in separate events.) The experience of training side by side has redefined the term “brotherly love” in more ways than one.

“We both jumped on the scale Christmas morning and we’re the same weight (168.5 pounds),” said Lauzon. “I kept joking to Danny that he’d have to watch what he was eating a lot more than me because my weight’s never a problem, but he said he was going plate-for-plate with me. If I took two pieces of turkey, he took two. If I took a scoop of potatoes, he took a scoop of potatoes.”

The competitive siblings, aged 25 and 21, shared much more than their holiday diets in the last three months, though. Both trained at the elder fighter’s Lauzon MMA gym in Bridgewater, Mass., scheduling their training sessions at the same time.

“We weren’t necessarily working with each other every single time,” said Lauzon, “but at the same training session, I’d hit mitts and he’d hit mitts. We’d grapple with each other, wrestle and all that kind of stuff.”

The brothers have pushed each other through training camps before, but never for the same date.

“The last time we both fought, he was in Affliction a week before me, and it was kind of awkward,” said Lauzon. “I’m trying to peak, but then I have to fly out (to California) and corner him for a whole week before my fight.”

Having someone to peak with has been a strong morale booster, said Lauzon.

“When I have a hard day, he has a hard day,” said Lauzon. “It’s always a lot easier to get through all the hard work when you have someone there doing it with you.”

The brothers’ careers haven’t necessarily mirrored one another. Each has his own distinct storyline heading into Jan. 2. This will be Joe’s first fight back since he underwent evasive surgery last March for a torn ACL. Joe faces Canadian striker Sam Stout on a leg he said is “better than 100 percent.” Meanwhile, Danny’s second UFC appearance against grappler Cole Miller comes at the end of a three-year tour on the regional circuit to get back into the big show.

Danny has a tough act to follow in his older brother, a former computer network administrator who shocked the sport with a 48-second knockout of former lightweight champion Jens Pulver at UFC 63 in September 2006. Joe has won four of his five UFC fights since then and has become a favorite on the UFC’s Spike TV-televised “Fight Night” cards. Known for his stellar work ethic as much for his frenetic pace in the cage, Lauzon’s flourishing career has reflected his studious approach to MMA. However, he thinks the extra time together has strengthened Danny as well.

“I’m my own biggest critic, but I’m Danny’s too,” said Lauzon. “I always think he could be doing more, but he’s had good (recent) results. He’s smashed pretty much everyone he’s fought (since the UFC loss) and he’s amped it up quite a bit. He’s taking this one very seriously.”

Lauzon said there’s also the added motivation in facing Miller, who he defeated during season five of “The Ultimate Fighter,” following a controversial blow he delivered to the back of Miller’s head.

“I fought Cole and it was a shaky ending because I fouled him to the back of the head. I didn’t consider it the cleanest win, but Danny now has the chance to go and do something better than I did. He gets to go prove he’s the better brother and I think that’s put a fire under his a--.”

The brothers will also pool cornermen and will likely be situated in the same locker room on fight night. There, Lauzon said he’ll he hard-pressed not think about his younger brother, who fights before him that evening.

“I always say I get way more nervous for his fights than my own,” said Lauzon. “I’ve just got to try and conserve energy. I’m not going to go out front (with him). I’ll be just watching on the TV in the back and I think that’ll help me quite a bit.”

As for his sibling’s chances on Jan. 2, brotherly pride has that one all covered.

“Danny was the youngest fighter ever in the UFC and now he’s going to be part of the first pair of brothers on the same UFC card,” said Lauzon. “It will be competitive and a dog fight on the ground, but on it’s feet, Danny’s got the clear-cut advantage. I say it all the time. Danny’s got the hands of a professional boxer.”
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>