American Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Joe Lauzon, will match up against Jason Reinhardt in UFC 78 on Saturday, November 17th. The MMA fighter took some time to talk to BuddyTV the other day about his strategy coming into the fight, his web-blog, and his very own t-shirt line. Check out the full interview transcript and the mp3 audio below.
This is Royce Yuen from BuddyTV and I’m here with Joe Lauzon. How’s it going Joe?
How’s it going? I’m good.
Very good. Good talking with you. So Joe, how do you feel coming into this fight against Jason Reinhardt? Are you 100% healthy?
Very healthy. Very confident. I had a great camp. Just got back from Hawaii with B.J. Penn. So, I’m very confident and very healthy.
Great. You know this is your first fight coming out of the Ultimate Fighter Five, how exactly have you been preparing for this fight? And are you doing anything different?
I changed up everything actually. We went to Hawaii for two months, you know like I said training with B.J. Penn and all those guys. So we completely changed camps. It’s the first time that I haven’t been able to work out with all my normal guys. I haven’t been able to work out with my brother and all that type of stuff. So we changed up quite a bit, but I’ve been home a couple days now an trained with those guys and I definitely think it was a big improvement. You know, change things up just to kind of see a different angle on everything.
Do you have a specific game plane or strategy coming into this fight?
Um, I’m going to kind of see where this fight goes. There are a couple of things I’m thinking I would like to do and where I’d like to put the fight. It’s going to kind of depend on how I react to what he does. He’s been all over UFC.com and message boards trying to call me out saying he knows I’m man enough to stand and trade with him. We’re both dominantly grappler’s. Submission guys. We beat the guys on the ground. He’s trying to kind of lure me into some striking match where he thinks he has a snowballs chance in hell. I really think I’m going to have the upper-hand anywhere it goes. When we’re standing on our feet, I have a huge reach advantage on him. He’s 5’6, I’m 5’10. On the ground I think I’m way better than him. I’m stronger than him, I think I’m faster than him. He’s like 37, I’m 23. So I think I have every other advantage. I’ve been in the UFC before. I didn’t get the UFC jitters that everyone else claims to get. So he’ll have to deal with that. He’ll have deal with being on a bigger show. He’s got a lot to contend with, so, he’s going to be fighting an uphill battle from the start.
What are some of the other weaknesses you think Jason has that you’re really planning on exploiting?
To be honest, I’m really just going to impose my game-plan on him. I’m not going to be looking for specific weaknesses, it’s just in general you know. I think that my grappling is better than him. My wrestling is way better than his. I think my strike is better than him. So I’m just going to go out there and I think everything he does is going to be a mistake.
Joe, the last time BuddyTV spoke with you was right after your elimination from the semi-finals of the Ultimate Fighter Five. You had mentioned in that interview that you were a little bit apprehensive at first to participate on the show. Looking back, now that it’s all said and done, do you feel that it was a positive experience for you overall?
It was a very positive experience. I was a little bit apprehensive just because I didn’t really want to get the label that a lot of ultimate fighter guys get because everyone thinks they get a short card and everything else. But it turns out that I haven’t really caught that much crap about it. People haven’t been giving me a hard time because I was in there before the show. I did do well on the show. You have no idea how the show is going to get edited and everything else. So those were kind of my main concerns. I think I came out of the show pretty well. I got a lot of support from people saying that they liked me on the show. Saying I was there for the right reasons. I was professional. I didn’t act like an idiot like some other people. So everything has been positive. Way more recognition. There are guys that fight in the UFC all the time and no one has any idea who they are. But if you’re on a TV show that a lot of people watch, then it’d kind of like you’re a celebrity kind of. You get people coming up to you and have no idea who they are and they’re introducing themselves and all that type of stuff.
Looking at your official website it seems like you like keeping your fans informed about your training and what you’re up to. What gave you the idea to start doing these blog-type entries on your website?
I dunno. I talked to Inside Fighting a little bit and they kind of wanted to do a Hawaii blog type of deal. I was kind of treating it like a job. I was trying to keep a blog every single day and writing stuff down … and it just became too much work. I just didn’t have the time for it and it was getting to the point where I’m trying to remember stuff that was back like two weeks before and everything like that. So then it just got to the point where I was just sending pictures to a couple people and giving them the story. And I found myself just kind of repeating the same stuff over and over and over. So I just kinda figured it’d make more sense to toss some pictures up and kinda give a quick story and try and direct everyone there. I was getting on the phone, and my phone bill was ridiculous. One month I used like 2,100 minutes and my phone had a $700 phone bill just because I’m repeating the same story to everyone. So I’m talking to 12 or 15 people and giving them the exact same story and details. It was more of a time thing than anything. It was easier to just type it up once, toss in a couple pictures and just do it that way.
Makes sense. So I know you’re not looking past your fight against Jason but what’s in store for you next? And is there anyone in-particular that you really want to step in the cage with?
Yeah. I’m definitely not looking past Jason. One fight at a time. The only thing is there’s always been talk about fighting Spencer Fisher. I beat Jim. Then Spencer, who’s Jim’s partner beat my brother. And Spencer said he wanted to fight me and I want to fight Spencer. So, who knows what’s going to happen. Spencer’s fighting the same night as me, on the 17th. So we’ll see how that fight goes for him, we’ll see how my fight goes for me and maybe we’ll meet up.
In the bigger picture, what are you really hoping to accomplish for yourself as a fighter in the next couple of years.
I’m not going to go and set huge astronomical goals. I’m going to improve just a little bit each day. I’m going to improve with every single fight and I’m just going to keep on going. I don’t want to set any goal. I want to keep getting better. When you’re the world champion, you’re still not content. You still want to get better. So, I’m just going to focus on improving.
Cool. Well I hear you also have your own T-Shirts out, is that right?
Yup. Yup. We’re selling T-Shirts on islandmartialarts.com. Those are the shirts I wore for the finale. A lot of people wanted to buy those, so when we got to the finale we made the shirts available. We’ll be selling shirts for this one too. I’m not sure how we’re going to do it, but I’ll have it on my website.
Nice. Can we expect to see some kind of fighting gear line from you to as well?
I don’t know. There are a million fighting gear companies. I’ll probably stick to shirts.
Awesome. Any final words for your fans?
I just want to thank everyone. Those back home. Everyone else I trained with in Hilo, Hawaii. I met a ton of great friends out there. Sprawl. I was doing little tiny grappling tournaments when sprawl first started … and it’s been a good relationship.
Well thanks again Joe for your time and from all of us at BuddyTV good luck to you. We’re looking forward to an exciting fight come November 17th.
Interview Conducted by Royce Yuen
Image Courtesy of sherdog.com