Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight grapplers Joe Lauzon and Marcin Held battled last night (Jan. 15, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 103 inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Lauzon has seen his fair share of ups-and-downs inside his long UFC career, but the veteran has been performing quite well as of late. Looking to return to the win column opposite a younger prospect, Lauzon was more than accustomed to his position.
As for Held, this was a must-win bout for the Bellator veteran. His performance in his Octagon debut was more than disappointing, and Held’s UFC career could not afford another ugly loss.
Oddly enough, the end result was indeed an ugly loss, but not in the manner one would expect.
See the controversial scorecards here.
After a feeling out process on the feet, Lauzon struck first by smashing his opponent’s skull with elbows while defending a takedown attempt. Held was badly hurt but managed to regain his senses and shove Lauzon into the fence.
Moments later, he scored a double leg takedown. From top position, Held landed a few small strikes but mostly controlled his opponent for about a minute. Lauzon was able to scramble up to his feet with about a minute remaining, but neither were able to do much damage in the clinch.
It was a rather close round.
Held began the second round with a nice double leg shot, countering his foe’s guillotine attempt and taking the back. Lauzon spun into a takedown of his own, but the end of the transitions resulted in Lauzon on his back once again.
From his back, Lauzon attempted an armbar and threatened pretty well. However, Held was able to outlast the hold and retain top position, where he did solid work in controlling the veteran and landing decent shots.
it was a strong round for the prospect.
The pace slowed a great deal in the third round. Held threw a lot of quicker, small shots and scored a brief takedown. Meanwhile, Lauzon walked his foe down and tried not to overextend on his power punches, and he scored a momentary takedown of his own.
With a minute remaining, Held pretty much sealed the fight in his favor by scoring a real double leg takedown into full guard. He controlled Lauzon till the end of the bout and even passed the guard, finishing his performance on a high note.
Despite that, the judges awarded Joe Lauzon the split decision win, and even the winner himself recognized that he did not win this contest.
Not to sound harsh on Lauzon, but there’s no real argument that he wins this fight. He had some big moments and a near finish in the first round, so that’s completely understandable. However, he spent the majority of the second and third on his back — or just generally on defense — and was unable to stop Held from implementing his game plan.
Now, Lauzon was robbed of his last win, so in his case, it does kind of even out. Regardless of the fight itself or decision, Lauzon will receive another match up in the middle of the division next time out.
As for Held, this is massively disappointing. He made all the necessary adjustments and performed very well, and the Polish grappler undoubtedly deserved to have his hand raised at the end of this bout.
Held followed a very smart game plan here. For one, he was able to land many reactive double legs under Lauzon’s powerful punches, which he helped draw out by pecking at him from range with punches. When that didn’t work, Held’s work from the clinch was effective as well.
More importantly, Held stuck to real takedowns rather than rolling into footlocks against such a veteran foe.
Finally, Held impressed by coming back so well from the early damage. He nearly went limp from Lauzon’s elbows in the first minute, but Held nevertheless returned to out-perform Lauzon for the majority of the fight.
It’s a shame his performance wasn’t recognized by the judges.
At UFC Fight Night 103, Joe Lauzon was awarded an awful decision over Marcin Held. Where do both men head from here?
For complete UFC Fight Night 103 “Penn vs. Rodriguez” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Source:: mma mania