Joe Lauzon: “I love BJ Penn. He is like a dad to me. He shaped me as a fighter.”
UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon is arguably one of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts history.
Lauzon has earned an eyebrow-raising 15 Performance of the Night bonuses during his amazing twenty-three fight career with the UFC.
“J-Lau” will return to the octagon at next weekend’s UFC Fight Night event in Nashville where he will take on Scottish standout Stevie Ray.
Prior to his battle with “Braveheart” at UFC Fight Night 108, Lauzon took time out of his busy schedule to speak with BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor on a recent episode of Rapid Fire.
During the interview Lauzon spoke to Taylor about his relationship with UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn and how he is very excited to see “The Prodigy” square off with Dennis Siver this June in Oklahoma City.
“I love this fight (with Dennis Siver) for BJ! I think it is great,” Lauzon stated. “You know it sucks because you look back at BJ’s record over his last ten fights and it’s like loss, loss, loss, win, loss. And the thing is BJ is a freaking killer but he just has been fighting uphill the entire way. He is always in these really really tough fights. It is just the way BJ is. All of the Penn’s are that way. They want the toughest fight. You know what I mean. That is just who they are. I don’t always think it is the smartest choice of fights. But that is just who they (The Penn’s) want to be. That is how they get motivated.”
“But it is tough you know. When you are constantly fighting uphill like that it is tough. But Dennis Siver is a perfect fight. I was super excited when they announced it the first time because I thought it would get BJ right back on the right track. You know and then all kinds of crap happened. And then he comes back and fights Yair and Rodriguez is a tough fight. Yair is not the fight I would have picked for BJ at that time. You know a prime BJ coming off a couple of wins of course, put him in there with Yair. But, you know, his confidence can’t be as good when he’s had such a tough showing his past few fights. You know I just think Dennis Siver is perfect. BJ is going to go out there and box with him. He’s going to throw down. At any point BJ can take him down and do his jiu jitsu. It is tough when you’re fighting someone way taller than you (like Yair was against BJ), that is way longer, that is younger, that kicks a lot and is super dynamic like he is. It is just tough. You have to ask ‘where does BJ really have an advantage in this fight with Yair?’. It is just tough man. I thought Yair would be a really tough fight for him. But in this case with Siver I believe it is the perfect fight for BJ.”
Lauzon, who was coached by Penn on season five of The Ultimate Fighter, told Taylor that he will be in attendance to support BJ when he fights Siver in Oklahoma. Lauzon looks up to BJ as a father figure and credits Penn for shaping him into the fighter he is today.
“I will probably be going out for it (Siver vs Penn), you know just to watch as a fan. Because I love BJ. He is like a dad to me. You know it was such a good experience being on The Ultimate Fighter with him and then going out to Hawaii. You know I am just excited. I am very excited for this fight with Siver.”
“He shaped me so much man. I don’t even know if he realizes how much he shaped me in regard to all the stuff that I like to do. He has had such a big influence on me as a person and my fighting style. I just want the best for BJ man. It just sucks how he has had such a rough patch. People forget that he is always the guy who is jumping out of his weight division. People who don’t get excited for BJ Penn fights are just crazy. This is a guy who fought Lyoto Machida at 205 or heavyweight or something. Nobody else jumps up several weight classes like that. Plus he’s always jumping up and taking on the toughest guys possible. And sometimes winning those fights. Nobody else does that. Everyone stays safe in their cozy comfy weight classes. I’ve never gone outside of lightweight. You know what I mean? I am staying right where I am. BJ is awesome. The guy has never received an easy fight. It is just killer after killer after killer. Most guys get a bounce back fight after they lose. BJ has never had that. It’s like they say ‘Ok you lost that one BJ. But it was a good fight. Let’s find another monster or someone who is tougher for you to fight next.’ Every single time out that is what he is going through. So I am just excited now. I think Dennis Siver is the perfect fight. It is a fair matchup for BJ.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/17/2017.