Joe Lauzon ‘not anti-fighter,’ but explains why he doesn’t see viable fighter’s union ever happening


Joe Lauzon admits that people may look at him in a negative light when it comes to topics such as fighter pay, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see the competitors get a bigger piece of the pie.

Lauzon, who defeated Jonathan Pearce in October 2019 will face Donald Cerrone at UFC 274. on May 7.

While the topic of fighter pay and collective bargaining compared to other major sports has been a hotly discussed one over the past few years — especially following the sale of the UFC for $4. 2 billion in 2016 — it has become much more prevalent as of late. These discussions have been led by UFC champion Francis Ngannou, and Jake Paul (youtuber).

In Lauzon’s eyes, while it’s certainly great to call attention to these things, we are no closer to seeing these changes being made. Lauzon was unsure if the day will come when all fighters can unite.

“I don’t think so,” Lauzon told MMA Fighting. “Francis Ngannou fights the UFC. He’s not fighting for the money of the other fighters, he is fighting for his own money. This is how it works. Francis Ngannou’s stance has always been “I have done that, I have this title, and I want these for myself.” He isn’t saying that he doesn’t wish this for other men. This is a very selfish attitude when people fight. They argue and there’s no way to tell if they want the title. Generally, it’s the people that try to get up to the UFC, got to the UFC, but maybe they didn’t do well, and then on their way out, they’re complaining about it after the fact.

” The guys who have been very successful have not always been the ones that are known for their great work. Tito Ortiz was such a fighter. He was champion for many years. But Tito was never arguing for more money for the undercard fighters, he was always arguing to get more money for himself, and it’s always been that way. The guys that get to the top, they’re always fighting to get more money for themselves. These guys are not going to get much support. They would get a lot more support if they were fighting for undercard fighters, and trying to make more across the board. .”

Lauzon was one of the few fighters on the roster openly positive about the UFC’s partnership with Reebok. He stated that if people attack a UFC company, and that agreement ends, then why would another entity try to cause the same reaction?

Because of that, Lauzon feels as if he’s looked at as a fighter who doesn’t support his fellow athlete. That is not the case at all, according to Lauzon, who feels as he’s looking at things from a mature and realistic perspective.

“It’s always hard because I’m looked at as anti-fighter and pro-UFC because I think the UFC does a good job. Lauzon stated that he has never had any negative interaction with UFC regarding anything. “I’ve always had tons of respect for them, they’ve always been super respectful to me, everything’s always been great.

“Does everyone want to get paid more for their job? One-thousand percent. However, I believe that anyone could be a great fighter. They might even be undercard fighters. You can have that great skill set and beat these other guys, but you cannot demand this money when there’s other people who would do the job for the same amount. What number of people will tune in? How many are purchasing ESPN+ and Fight Pass to see this undercard fight? Not many, right? There’s probably a couple of friends who are gonna tune in, but there’s not a whole lot of demand there because it takes time to build a name.”

Prior the win over Pearce Lauzon had suffered defeats to Clay Guida and Stevie Ray in his three previous bouts. Dana White, UFC president, stated to reporters after the victory that Lauzon had agreed behind-the scenes that this would be his last fight. This is a claim Lauzon denies ever since. Lauzon stated that his strategy was to watch and wait for the outcome of each fight before making any final decisions.

Lauzon plans to follow the same strategy in his fight against Cerrone and hopes that, if everything goes according to plan, the UFC will consider having him back for a second bout.

In terms of his overall relationship with the UFC, the Massachusetts native — who made his debut at UFC 63 in September 2006 — says it’s been a solid and reciprocal one. While he hopes someday the fighters get a bigger piece of the pie, Lauzon suggests that the approach to getting there will have to be a smart one.

“I always want the fighters to make more money, but at the same time you’ve got to keep in mind that the draw is generally the UFC brand,” Lauzon explained. “There’s been a lot of fighters who have gone elsewhere, and sometimes they say they’re making better money. Sometimes they say it’s not been as good, or it hasn’t been as polished, or this and that. There will always be cons and pros. For me, I’ve always had a great relationship with the UFC. Their treatment of me has been excellent and I can’t say anything negative about them.

“I can totally understand how the UFC can be iron-fist when it comes to negotiations and stuff like that, but that’s their job. The fighters are gonna do the same thing, [they’re] gonna have a heavy hand on things too. Both sides are gonna negotiate and fight to the best of their ability — in the ring and in contract negotiations — and they’re gonna use whatever assets and tools they have. You don’t have to fight the UFC if you do not want to. You don’t have to be ready to fight in the UFC if you aren’t prepared.

“If I have a little two-pound dog, and I have a 90-pound pitbull — which is the UFC — I would not encourage that two-pound dog to get that dog bone that you might be entitled to,” Lauzon continued. “Maybe you need to kind of understand what’s going on here and understand how it all is. I think a lot of fighters, a lot of people look at me like I’m anti-fighter, and I’m not anti-fighter. Of course, I want all the fighters to make more money. I would love for the UFC to do lifelong health insurance for anybody that’s had x number of fights — 10 fights, 12, 15, whatever it’s gonna be. All that would be great for me. It doesn’t have to make sense if it does not make sense.

“There’s always gonna be headlines of fighters pushing back, whether it’s Mark Hunt, or whoever else pushing back on things. But that’s just the nature of it. It’s not something I want to do.