The Lightweights opened up the UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen on FS1 main card. Michael Johnson (13-8) controlled the entirety of the 3 round fight to earn the unanimous decision over Joe Lauzon (22-9). After losing his previous two fights, Johnson improved to 5-4 in the UFC. For the first time in 15 fights with the company, Lauzon accrued consecutive losses and dropped to 9-6 in the UFC.
Lauzon was rightly favored heading into the bout, but Johnson completely outclassed him. The Blackzillian handled J-Lau with quick and punishing boxing combinations that left Lauzon looking slow and ineffective. Joe tried to take the fight to the ground a couple times, but Johnson denied him the opportunity and rightfully took the dominant unanimous decision win.
What was the high point of the fight?
The two knockdowns to claim round 1 by Johnson were absolutely incredible and set the pace for the rest of the fight.
Where do they go from here?
Johnson needed a win here as much as anyone else on the card. He was coming off consecutive losses and was staring the chopping block in the face. Instead, he pulled off one of the best performances of his career against an always game competitor. I'd like to see him against Jim Miller next.
As one of the most exciting fighters in the 155 lb. division, Lauzon isn't going anywhere. However, with him sporting a 1-3 record in his last four fights, the UFC will look to set him up for a win next. Expect to see him matched up against someone both recognizable and beatable like Evan Dunahm in his next fight.
Watch it now, never, or later?
You can hold off on this one. Fantastic performance from Johnson, but there are better fights from the event that deserve your attention first.