It’s a good thing that all of the attention at UFC’s big Las Vegas fight week, UFC 194, was on the featherweight championship fight, because Boston’s top fighters, all relegated to lower profile undercard bouts, did not fare well.
Welterweight John Howard
On Thursday at UFC Fight Night 80, Dorchester native John Howard was knocked out by Tim Means just 21 seconds into the second round of a three round welterweight bout. Howard has struggled of late, with just one win in his last five fights. Howard, a veteran of the sport, is in his second stint in the top promotion in mixed martial arts. Howard was able to land strong takedowns against the much taller Means, but was unable to handle his strong striking, particularly from his left. Ever the sportsman, Howard praised Means in his post-fight comments, saying “Tim, thank you for the great fight. It was awesome!”
Howard’s fight against Means was the first of a new four-fight contract he signed after his win against Cathal Pendred at UFC 189.
Lightweight Joe Lauzon
Bridgewater’s Joe Lauzon lost a three round stand-up striking battle with Evan Dunham by unanimous decision at the The Ultimate Fighter 22 finale show in Las Vegas on Friday. Lauzon hung in there with Dunham, but could not keep up with the southpaw’s left-right combinations and kicks. Dunham managed to successfully use his size to keep Lauzon from getting in close in the third round. In his post-fight comments, Dunham said he was very surprised by Lauzon’s approach to the fight, as he was expecting the Bridgewater fighter to bring the fight to the ground, not fight it standing up.
This is Lauzon’s second consecutive loss.
Lightweight Joe Proctor
On Saturday at UFC 194, Joe Proctor found himself in a jam early when Russian lightweight Magomed Mustafaev countered his low kicks early and took him to the ground with a series of stronger kicks to the body, including a brutal one to the liver. Once on the octagon floor, it was all over for him as Mustafaev levied a barrage of punches, prompting the referee to put a stop to the fight at 1:54 in the first round. It was Proctor’s first TKO loss in the UFC.
Joe Proctor has slowly made a name for himself in the UFC ever since his strong performance on The Ultimate Fighter 15. The Quincy native and product of Lauzon’s fight school has become something of a submission specialist during his time in the UFC.
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