Florian Stops Lauzon in Denver


Kenny Florian throws a knee at Joe Lauzon. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The ‘Battle of Boston’ went in Kenny Florian’s favor last night as he relentlessly pressured fellow Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon before ultimately stopping his foe with an onslaught of unanswered strikes during the latest edition of UFC Fight Night at the at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado.

What originally was booked as a friendly matchup between two lightweight contenders slowly evolved into a heated exchange of pre-fight trash talking. The tension between the two was evident from the start of the fight as an intense staredown changed into a quick exchange of punches.

Lauzon quickly down Florian down in the first minute. An unorthodox attempt by Florian to use elbows from the bottom was foiled by referee Herb Dean after one of the blows cut the back of Lauzon’s head open. Florian then used solid submission defense to escape knee bar and heel hook attempts before eventually closing out the round delivering strikes from the top position.

Florian turned up the heat at the start of the second round. A swift body kick led to Florian scoring a takedown and transitioning to half-guard. The veteran of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” then rained down unanswered punches and elbows on Lauzon for nearly two full minutes. Despite a good job of covering up and limiting damage, Dean decided that Lauzon had enough, moving Florian even closer to another shot at the lightweight title that was once in his reach.

“Joe’s a great competitor and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight,” Florian said after the bout. “That’s what I wanted.”

Undercard bouts

Thiago Alves scored a win that will certainly help him in a crowded welterweight division as he handed Karo Parisyan his first stoppage loss, connecting with a fight-ending knee early in the second round of their bout.

It was all Parisyan in round one. The Armenian used superior striking and wrestling to stifle Alves and prevent him from mounting. However Alves landed a leg kick and a stiff jab that backed Parisyan up to start the next stanza. Alves closed the distance and grabbed the back of Parisyan’s head, landing a hard knee that sent his opponent slumping to the canvas. Alves pounced on Parisyan and landed a handful of rights before referee Steve Mazzagatti halted the proceedings.

Parisyan protested the possible early stoppage but his argument went on deaf ears.

“He was out. I think the referees in the UFC do a great job, so I’m not going to go against them,” Alves said after the fight. “Whatever, I won.”

Another fighter unhappy with the way his bout ended was Houston Alexander, who became the victim of an eight-second knockout loss courtesy of James Irvin.

Irvin knocked Alexander down with the first shot that he threw, a superman punch. Irvin then pounced on Alexander and landed two straight right hands that left the Nebraskan unable to defend himself. Mazzagatti stepped in to wave off the bout but Alexander immediately jumped up and started voicing his displeasure.

“The first one barely got him,” Irvin said. “It barely clipped his chin, but the second one was about as hard as I can hit.”

Irvin’s knockout tied the UFC record for the organization’s fastest finish in history. Don Frye put Thomas Ramirez to sleep in eight seconds as well in his UFC debut back in February 1996.

Gray Maynard used his size advantage and crisper wrestling skills to hand fellow lightweight phenom Frankie Edgar his first professional loss.

After spending the majority of the fight scoring points on the feet, Maynard scored his first takedown late in the second round and followed up with three impressive slams on Edgar into the third. While the slams looked to have handed Maynard the fight after a close second round, all three judges scored the fight 30-27 in Maynard’s favor anyway.

Heavy-handed heavyweights Matt Hamill and Tim Boetsch slugged it out for nearly seven minutes before the Colorado elevation caused Boetsch to fatigue rather easily, allowing Hamill to swarm his opponent and eventually stop the fight using strikes on the ground.

Complete event results

Anthony Johnson def. Tom Speer - TKO (Strikes)
George Sotiropoulos def. Roman Mitichyan - TKO (Strikes)
Clay Guida def. Samy Schiavo - TKO (Strikes)
Manvel Gamburyan def. Jeff Cox - Submission (Guillotine)
Marcus Aurelio def. Ryan Roberts - Submission (Armbar)
Josh Neer def. Din Thomas - Unanimous Decision
James Irvin def. Houston Alexander - TKO (Strikes)
Nathan Diaz def. Kurt Pellegrino - Submission (Triangle)
Matt Hamill def. Tim Boetsch - TKO (Strikes)
Thiago Alves def. Karo Parisyan - TKO (Strikes)
Gray Maynard def. Frank Edgar - Unanimous Decision
Kenny Florian def. Joe Lauzon - TKO (Strikes)

Notes

Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon earned fight of the night honors. James Irvin received the knockout of the night and Nate Diaz the submission of the night. The official attendance for the event was reported as 6,742. Jay Cutler, Al Roker, and Allen Iverson were spotted in the crowd. Gray Maynard suffered a broke hand in his fight against Frankie Edgar. Maynard revealed the injury to the media at the post-fight press conference according to Steve Cofield.

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