BOSTON - AUGUST 28: Joe Lauzon celebrates after defeating Gabe Ruediger in the first round of their UFC lightweight bout at the TD Garden on August 28 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
In the second main card fight of UFC on Fox 4, Joe Lauzon and Jamie Varner put on one of the best fights of the fights of the year. After two and a half rounds of back-and-forth action, Lauzon finally staked a claim to the bout by submitting Varner with a lightning-quick triangle choke. It came after an extended scramble where each of the fighters reversed the other on the ground a couple of times.
The two men were awarded the fight of the night bonus and Lauzon won submission of the night honors as well. Lauzon ended up with an extra 100k, Varner got 50k. Varner took the fight as a late replacement for Terry Etim and despite what Joe Rogan had to say on commentary, he was in this bout until the very last second.
What was the high spot of this fight?
The finish. The entire sequence from the takedown to the two reversals to the way Lauzon set up the triangle as he was being put on his back was just beautiful.
Where do these guys go from here?
That wasn't the biggest name Lauzon has ever defeated, but it was probably the biggest stage he's fought on and he totally delivered. He isn't going to be a top-five fighter, but he's reliably entertaining and should be a staple of main cards. A bout with Donald Cerrone if he beats Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 would be cool, or a bout with Rafael dos Anjos would be awesome as well.
Varner has little to hang his head about. For the second straight fight, he showed that he is most definitely UFC caliber and will be sticking around for a while. His boxing in particular looked excellent. There are a number of guys he could face off with next, but I'd like to see him face fellow WEC alum Anthony Njokuani.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. It's one of the top five fights of 2012, and it'd be a shame to miss it.
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC on Fox 4 in the full entry.