EXCLUSIVE | Dan Lauzon Talks Growing Up with His Brother, Joe Lauzon | BJPENN.COM RADIO
Dan Lauzon spoke Wednesday night to BJPenn.com Radio about the path that brought him to be the fighter he is today, discussing street fights, football, and his brother Joe.
Dan and Joe Lauzon are among a few sets of siblings who have found success in mixed martial arts. In the UFC alone, you have the Diaz brothers, the Miller brothers, the Nogueira brothers and Alistair Overeem, whose brother Valentijn fights in various other organizations.
When asked how he and Joe would fair against these other pairs, Dan laughed, stating, “Come on, I gotta say that me and Joe would win of course. Gotta be confident, right?”
As for the Nogueiras and Overeems, who fight upwards of 100 pounds heavier than the Lauzons, Dan joked, “I’d probably pick up a pipe and have to hit Overeem and the Nogueiras.”
All joking aside, though, Dan Lauzon has fought his way to being one of the more exciting lightweight fighters today. Of the 16 wins on his record, Dan has won all of them by a KO or submission. He has never left a fight in the judges’ hands. This success, Lauzon explained, is due in large part to his focus.
“Right now, I’m super focused, I’m motivated. Like I said, fight by fight, but each fight I’m getting more focused, more dedicated, and I think I’m right were I need to be right now where I’m at in my career. It’s just going to get better, and I can really only go up. That’s really it, just getting refocused, rededicated and clearing my head, keep my eyes on what’s important… and surrounding myself with positive people.”
Of these positive people, his older brother Joe is perhaps the most important. Not simply due to his brother’s popularity or success in the ring, said Dan, but because Joe provides the best training partner possible.
“I think that there’s no better training partner than your own brother. Me and Joe have been going at it in training for years and years, and of course I want to get the better of him, he wants to get the better of me each time. So we can just push it and do that, whereas you could be in the gym training with somebody, and sure you want to get the better of him, he wants to get the better of you, and you know, things escalate and escalate, and it could be a fight. Whereas me and Joe are brothers, when things escalate, escalate and escalate, more times than one, we’ve had to be pulled apart by training partners and everything because we would get going so hard and people would have to be breaking it up. But at the end of the day, we’re brothers, we’re family: we’re not going anywhere. Whereas if it’s just two regular training partners and something like that happens, you know, those guys might never talk again. Those guys are going to hold a grudge against each other, there’s always going to be bad blood there. But like I said, when it’s your brother, you’re still family at the end of the day, you got your blood. No matter how hard you guys punch each other, you’re going to have your differences whether it’s inside the gym or outside of the gym; but at the end of the day, you guys are family, and you guys are going to be all good. I think we just pushed each other and pushed each other to the point where we were ready to rip each other’s throats out, but like I said, at the end of the day we’re family. It was good. Like I said, we just pushed each other so much, and we still do. It works out for us.”
Joe Lauzon, of course, is known for his exciting fighting style in the UFC. His has won an impressive 12 Fight/KO/Submission of the Night bonuses from the UFC. Given Joe’s success in the more well-known organization, Dan can sometimes feel like he sits in his brother’s shadow.
“I don’t know, I would’nt say that I’m happy to be in his shadow; but I wouldn’t say I hate it either. It is what it is really. I don’t know, I guess that’s all I can really say about it.”
Even if, to casual fans, Dan is not as popular as his brother, to their hometown MMA scene, the Lauzon brothers are a household name.
“It’s cool,” Dan explained, “me and him, we grew up around Massachusetts, the Massachusetts MMA scene. I’ve been training and stuff for 10 years, doing jiu jitsu tournaments since I was 14. So even when I was coming up, I was always winning tournaments around here, going to Jersey, this and that- and obviously he was too. So it’s kind of like, we’ve been known around Massachusetts and around New Jersey [and] New England area since he was 17-18, since I was 13-14 years old. Both our names have been around for a while. It blew up of course when Joe went into the UFC and knocked out Jens [Pulver] and when I fought Spencer [Fisher] at 18. But even before that, like I said, just around here on the local circuit with Joe fighting and me doing all the grappling tournaments and jiu jitsu tournaments, it’s kind of been known. The name’s just been around for a long time now, and everyone around here knows us. When we first got into MMA around here, everybody knew everybody. Now the scene has gotten much, much bigger around her, but still, these guys that have come in just kind of know the name, because, like I said, me and Joe have been around for so long on the regional circuit and everything.”
Both Lauzon brothers are known for being tough, well-rounded fighters. Joe holds 22 wins with 18 submissions and 4 KO’s, and Dan holds 9 KO’s and 7 submissions. Although they are both confident and dangerous wherever the fight goes, Dan said explained that the two brothers do have distinct preferences and styles.
“I think the big difference between me and Joe is Joe is more of a ground guy, more of a submission specialist where I focus more on standup and my hands. So I think honestly that’s the biggest difference between the two of us. Joe has enough hands to keep it on the feet and protect himself, you know, he can keep it on the feet until he gets it on the ground. And then, you know he’s super slick on the ground. I’m a little bit different, I like to stand a little bit more, and I have enough on the ground to survive and get back up if I need to if I can’t finish on the ground. I would say as good as Joe’s ground game is, his ground game is obviously a little better than his hands; and I think I’m kind of the opposite, my hands are a little bit better than my ground game. I think Joe’s a little bit slicker on the ground than me; I think I’m a little bit slicker with my hands on the feet than Joe, and I think that’s the big difference between the two of us.”
A lot of the difference, too, comes simply from their different personalities growing up.
“I got into a lot of fights growing up, and I always liked fighting. I wouldn’t mind going down there and getting into fights at school and s*** like that. Joe wasn’t really like that though. Joe never really got into fights growing up, he was just kind of low-key, did his thing, focused on school. I was always into sports. I did things like that, I was going out and kind of getting inot trouble quite a bit. Then he started training and started showing me stuff. I started training a year or two after him.”
Today, Dan’s more physical and aggressive behavior as a kid translates directly to how he fights.
“I grew up playing football. I was always the guy on the football field- I was a linebacker and I was a fullback- I was always running after guys and smash into them at 100 miles per hour. In a way, that’s kind of how stand-up is, you pick your shots and when you go for that kill, that’s what you try to do. I try to hit you at 100 miles per hour with my fist like I’m trying to put your lights out. That’s how it was with football, I just [would] be trying to stick people. I grew up playing football my whole life, and I just kind of took that smash mode of a football game and just put it into fighting. When I try to hit you, I’m trying to put your lights out with every punch. Like I said, I grew up getting in a lot of fights, a lot of street fights. In a street fight, you never really take guys down and out-position them- you could, but in a street fight you never know what’s going to happen. People pull weapons, this and that, you never want to take those chances. In street fights, we stay standing, and you’re swinging. I don’t know, I always liked the standup better, kind of took to it more, and like I said, Joe was more of a low-key guy, did his own thing. He just really took to the jiu jitsu. He really liked the ground game, and I really like the standup. I don’t know, it’s kind of up to each guy I guess. I’m not really sure how that worked out.”
Dan be putting his aggressive style on display next Friday, June 14, when he will face veteran fighter, John Gunderson, at the World Series of Fighting’s third event, WSOF 3. The fight will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas beginning at 5:15 pm PT.
Be sure to check out the rest of Dan Lauzon’s interview with BJPenn.com Radio. He talks about his upcoming fight with Gunderson and what it means to fight for the WSOF. Lauzon also breaks his silence on a 2011 street fight that left him with a stab wound in his shoulder. You don’t want to miss this!