Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Let’s be honest, this weekend’s UFC event live from Japan is a remarkable card jammed packed with potentially exciting scraps.  Among those fights, perhaps the most interesting fight will take place in the Lightweight Division between Anthony Pettis and Joe Lauzon.  Anthony is among the most exciting fighters in the UFC and Joe Lauzon is one of the most venomous finishers in the sport.
Anthony Pettis owns a very impressive record of 14-2.  He was the last WEC Lightweight champion who defeated Ben Henderson, who coincidentally will be in the main event going for the UFC Lightweight Championship against Frankie Edgar.  Don’t feel bad for Pettis though, he’s an exciting fighter who has won five of six with his loss coming via decision to the highly regarded Clay Guida.  
On the flip side of this fight is Joe Lauzon.  He brings a healthy 21-6 record including an impressive 8-3 record inside the Octagon.  More impressively is that in those 8 wins,  none have gone the distance. He is a finisher.  He is much stronger than he looks and has the ability to manhandle people at 155.  His submissions are spot on, considering he has submitted 17 of the 21 fighters he’s defeated.  In fact, laying claim to being one of the most exciting fighters in the game, he has never gone the distance in his 21 wins and has only needed the judges in one of his career fights.  Another astounding fact is that he has won an award for either fight of the night, or submission of the night in 8 of his 11 UFC fights.   
So you have two of if not the two most exciting guys in the division ready to go head to head, you can almost guarantee that there will be another “Of the Night” awarded to one or both contestants here.  Here’s how it could break down.
Anthony Pettis is trained by Duke Roufus, and that speaks volumes to his standup credentials.  He has good hands, great kicks and can land from any angle.  He became a superstar overnight when he utilized the jaw-dropping “Showtime Kick” against Ben Henderson en route to capturing the WEC Championship.  He ran, with one leg kicked off the cage, and with the same leg, landed a perfect high kick.  It was one of those moments that will forever in highlight reels.  
Joe Lauzon isn’t known for his standup prowess, but he’s no slouch.  He’s had stoppages with his hands, and he’s set up a handful of submissions after hurting his opponents standing.  He did that to Melvin Guillard.  He hurt him with a left hook, that dropped Melvin and then Joe took advantage, jumped his back and choked him out.  It’s closer than some might think, but Anthony Pettis has an advantage standing.
Neither fighter is known as a traditional wrestler, but both are well rounded and complete mixed martial artists and they have solid takedowns.  Joe Lauzon has the edge in takedowns, but takedown defense is where Pettis will need to excel to be successful Saturday night.  Joe has slick takedowns, can shoot a double, slam you or takedown from the clinch.  Neither man is known for their top games, and I wouldn’t expect this fight to feature a large amount of ground and pound.  Wrestling wise, the key will be Pettis’ ability to keep the action standing.  Joe Lauzon has the advantage in wrestling.
Joe Lauzon has slick Jiu Jitsu, good transitions and top notch submissions.  He’s going to want to take this thing to the mat, get Pettis into positions where he’s not comfortable and look for submissions.  Pettis has six submissions to his name, but two were via strikes and one due to injury, so he’s not as adapt at pulling off traditional submissions.  This fight will likely end one of two ways.  Either with Lauzon losing to Pettis’ striking advantage or Pettis losing via submission.  Lauzon has a large advantage in submissions.
Bottom Line.
This will certainly be a fun fight.  It possesses the contrast in styles that is often times the catalyst for a great back and forth fight.  Joe Lauzon should prepare to take some early damage and weather the storm, until he can get the fight to the mat.  For Pettis, he’ll look to utilize his exciting kicks, knees and boxing to keep Lauzon off balance and uncomfortable.  This match could end very quickly if Lauzon gets caught standing, or if Pettis gets taken down.  You’ll have to wait for the official www.hov-mma.com picks to find out who we think the winner will be. 

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