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Efrain Escudero Comments On Opponent Dan Lauzon's Chaotic Camp

Efrain Escudero knows Dan Lauzon, has trained with him and even considers him a friend. But none of that stopped the two from signing on the dotted line to face each other at UFC 114 on May 29 in Las Vegas.

In recent days, several reports have noted that Lauzon's camp has been in chaos. His brother Joe along with two other trainers recently left after being dissatisfied with what they perceived to be Dan's lack of motivation in preparing for the fight.

Escudero says that while he can't assume the reports to be true, he does hope that stories of Dan Lauzon's troubles are greatly exaggerated.

"I'm really hoping that this is going to bring the best out of both of us," he told MMA Fighting. "We both have lots to work on and prove when we step into the octagon. This isn't a grudge match. We're just going to find out who's better prepared."

The bout is particularly important for both young fighters, who are both coming off losses. The 24-year-old Escudero is 13-1, while 22-year-old Lauzon is 12-3.

Escudero might have a better understanding of what Lauzon's going through because of his own recent situation. After his loss to Evan Dunham, he switched camps from one Arizona training center to another, going from Southwest MMA to The Lab, partly because of what he termed "altercations" and "miscommunications." He says that he won't know if his opponent was truly preparing well until they step into the cage together and the fruits of their labor come to the forefront.

"I can't say what he is and isn't doing," he said. "After the fight, I'll judge whether he took me lightly. Right now, I'm not slowing anything down. I'm training to go right through him. I'm training for the best Dan Lauzon. If he's not ready, I'm going to run right through him."

The season eight winner of The Ultimate Fighter said that he and Lauzon met about four years ago and have been good friends ever since, helping each other before fights. In fact, months ago, the two had planned to train together in upcoming fight camps until they were faced with the reality of preparing to fight each other.

He said that in the past, he mostly saw Lauzon work hard and push himself to the limit, but he's also seen glimpses of the less motivated version of the same guy.

"He's a good friend of mine," he said. "If he didn't train and I beat him up, after I beat him up, maybe I'll be the one to tell him, 'Hey Dany, we're no longer fighting local guys. We're fighting the top guys in the world in the UFC. This isn't an extra-curricular activity."

[Editor's Note: MMA Fighting will have more with Escudero regarding UFC 114 in the coming days.]

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