Although Efrain Escudero is well aware of the bitter public divorce his UFC 114 opponent Dan Lauzon is going through with his brother and fellow Octagon fighter Joe Lauzon, the 155-pounder could care less. He’s got much bigger things on his mind.
“I’m not really taking it into consideration at all,” Escudero told MMAJunkie.com of the Lauzon family drama. “I’m preparing for the best Danny Lauzon that’s out there. With all the scandal that’s going on, I hope for the best for Danny, and I do hope he brings his best because I want to put on a show for the fans.”
Despite owning a respectable 12-3 record, Joe recently gave his bro the heave-hoe from his gym after several stern warnings that appeared to fall on deaf ears. While Dan claims he wasn’t aware that his dedication to the sport and his career were ever in doubt, Efrain states he will take full advantage if Dan doesn’t come with his A-game.
“If he didn’t prepare, I’m actually going to take it as – well, I’m going to beat him up and show him that we’re fighting the top guys in the world,” Escudero said. “We’re very good friends, and I’d rather do it than somebody else. When we step into the Octagon, I will take it out on him.”
The “The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner is looking to bounce back from the only loss of his pro career. Although his armbar submission loss to Evan Dunham this past January was an obvious disappointment, Escudero believes it was a blessing in disguise because he can now compete as though he has nothing to protect.
“Before the loss, I used to always say, ‘Nah, there’s no pressure (with an undefeated record). I think of every fight as just one fight with records aside,'” he said. “But in all actuality, there was some pressure relieved (with the loss). Because after I got back in the gym, I was like, ‘I got it out of the way. No longer do I fight to win. I fight to put on a good show and not to lose.’
“When I step into that Octagon, I’m not thinking about winning. I’m not thinking about not losing. I’m thinking about surviving. So now you can expect a new Efrain.”
Escudero puts his 12-1 record on the line this Saturday when the lightweights meet in a pivotal scrap inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.