For the second time in six weeks, a highly anticipated matchup between two of the UFC’s most longstanding fighters was scrapped on the day of the fight.
In May, Donald Cerrone (36-16 MMA, 23-13 UFC) was ruled out of his fight with Joe Lauzon (28-15 MMA, 15-12 UFC) on the day of the bout at UFC 274 when he was sick with a stomach food. Saturday, at UFC on ESPN 37, the tables turned and Lauzon was pulled on fight day when he his knee popped out of socket and he couldn’t get it back in.
The fight was set to be the co-main event in Austin, Texas. Now pulled for a second time, UFC president Dana White is doubtful the promotion will book the two again for later.
Late Saturday, Lauzon posted an update to Instagram and said a video someone sent to him showed him how to get his knee back in place.
“So you can’t make this up, but my knee works again,” Lauzon said in the video. “Someone sent me a video … on Instagram about, like, ‘This sounds like a thing I do with my knee. You should check out this video.’ It was 100 percent – everything was exactly the problem I was having.
“It’s called a ‘tib-fib’ dislocation. Basically, the bones in my leg were dislocated. That’s why we couldn’t get it back. So I did the exercise in the video, and it popped back in. It’s insane. My leg fully works.”
But by the time Lauzon saw the video and the remedy worked for him, the fight already had been canceled and there was no turning back.
Lauzon said he appeared to be fully functional and tried to get the UFC to put the fight back on, but that ship already had sailed.
“…I literally could not put socks on,” Lauzon said. “I couldn’t lift my foot off the bed. I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t put any weight on it. I couldn’t do anything the last day and a half. I couldn’t even hobble on one foot because I couldn’t take my foot shaking. It was awful. I wish I had this video yesterday or this morning before the fight got called off.
“We contacted the UFC (and) we tried to make it – see if ‘Cowboy’ was still around and we could still fight, but it was too late. … The UFC said we couldn’t do it. It sucks. I’m sorry to everyone – again, this whole entire situation sucks. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ll see.”
Lauzon may not know what’s going to happen, but his boss does – at least as far as a matchup with Cerrone goes.
“That thing is getting like Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov),” White told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “No, I will not book that fight again.”
Lauzon snapped a three-fight skid in October 2019 with a first-round TKO against Jonathan Pearce at UFC on ESPN 6. But he hasn’t fought since then in the longest inactive stretch of his career.
Cerrone is mired in a five-fight skid and hasn’t won since May 2019. He has said when he hits 50 combined fights in the WEC and UFC, he’ll retire. The Lauzon fight would’ve been his 48th walk to the cage in the two promotions combined. White said Cerrone doesn’t want to fight in July after just cutting weight for the Lauzon fight that now may never happen. So the UFC, White said, will “figure something else out with him.”