UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon
said he hasn't yet decided whether to make an issue of George Sotiropoulos
' somewhat controversial attire when the two meet at UFC 123
on Nov. 20, but judging by his recent remarks, you can bet he's put some thought into it.
"I don't really understand how he gets away with them," Lauzon told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour
. "We're definitely going to look into it a little bit."
Sotiropoulos has been criticized in the past for wearing a mix of gear that covers nearly all of his legs, thus creating the same effect as a pair of grappling tights, which are prohibited by many state athletic commissions in the U.S.
"I don't see how you can wear your regular fight shorts, compression shorts under that that go to your knee, then wear knee pads on both sides that go halfway down your leg, then ankle supports that go halfway up your leg and down to your toes," Lauzon said. "I don't know what the deal is with the commission, if he'll be allowed to wear those or not, but we're prepared for him either way."
Some have claimed that Sotiropoulos is gaining an unfair advantage by artificially increasing the friction between his legs and his opponent's body with the attire. Kurt Pellegrino
, the last fighter to face Sotiropoulos, went so far as to suggest that the Australian was a "cheater" because of the added accessories.
Lauzon said he had adjusted his training to prepare for it, grappling with sparring partners dressed in gi pants to simulate the added friction, though he said he hadn't decided yet whether he would press Michigan officials to take a stand on Sotiropoulos' outfit when the two face off in Detroit.
"We'll think about it. I don't know if it will make a huge difference, but at the same time, why give him that advantage? Maybe we'll make a formal request to not let him wear them."
Lauzon also admitted that he was somewhat surprised to be offered a fight with Sotiropoulos, who is 6-0 in the UFC since coming off season six of "The Ultimate Fighter."
"I thought it was a big step up in competition, to go from a Gabe Ruediger, who didn't have the best fight history, to a George Sotiropoulos, who's undefeated in the UFC. ... I was pretty surprised. I was taken back by it a little bit. I figured he'd be fighting for the title real, real soon, and I don't see myself in that same category. To go and be put up against a guy like that, either they really don't like me or they're expecting something good out of me."