Gaudinot Impresses In Underdog Role

by Sensei Thad Campbell



Sensei Louis Gaudinot may have been an underdog according to the so called experts, but it clearly wasn’t the case in the cage Saturday night.  Gaudinot was featured on the main card of UFC 182 against Japanese star Kyoji Horiguchi.

Horiguchi was riding an eight fight winning streak and was undefeated in the UFC Flyweight division. Gaudinot meanwhile had only been able to fight twice in two years due to two serious knee injuries and a bout with pneumonia. That didn’t stop him from letting Horiguchi know he wasn’t going to be anybodies pushover.


Gaudinot came out right from the opening bell aiming to land heavy shots on Horiguchi. It was the very first low kick that dropped the Japanese sensation that let the crowd know Gaudinot shouldn’t be overlooked either. The first round was a close one as Horiguchi continually sought to avoid any close range fighting with Gaudinot. He settled for jumping out of the pocket any time Gaudinot set up to throw hard shots.

The second round was more of the same with Horiguchi’s style finally getting him one good shot as he lunged in like a point karate fighter to land a solid right hand. That would be the only clean shot he landed on Gaudinot as the Hoboken instructor showed his quarter century of training with Tiger Schulmann’s with his amazing foot work and defense. Gaudinot was blocking Horiguchi’s shots with elbows, shoulders and forearms whenever the Japanese fighter did choose to exchange.

Gaudinot also used a great body kick to try and slow down the fleet footed fighter. Horiguchi in fact moved so much he covered nearly three quarters of  a mile in the ring. Gaudinot’s total distance in a graphic presented by the UFC was significantly less, a testament to his skill at cutting angles. He didn’t choose to chase Horiguchi, but rather smoothly cut angles to shorten the distance.

At one point during the second round Gaudinot caught Horiguchi in an akward position, securing the Japanese fighters right arm between his own head and arms. The arm triangle choke is part of the close range defense curriculum Gaudinot teaches his students in Hoboken. Viewers of the fight on television may have heard Tiger Schulmann urging Gaudinot to make an angle exactly like the technique is taught in their own classes. Gaudinot wisely chose to let go of the technique though as Horiguchi was standing and the technique is much more difficult to finish.

In the corner after round 2 Master Schulmann again urged Gaudinot to give everything he had in the last round and that is exactly what he did. Gaudinot again cut the ring off in an attempt to corner Horiguchi. Again he briefly caught the Japanese fighter in an awkward position as he jumped guard and had one hand wrapped around his opponents neck. Horiguchi wisely kept Gaudinot from locking his hands together in the guillotine choke he has used twice in the UFC to finish fights.

The two traded blows right to the very end with Gaudinot continuing to push forward against the elusive Japanese Karate fighter.

The judges would eventually favor the young Japanese sensation, but not before everyone that watched the fight gained a heavy dose of respect for Sensei Gaudinot. He may have been the underdog before the fight, but he earned the respect of his opponent and everyone else who watched in what was a very close fight.

We can’t wait to see Sensei Gaudinot back in the cage soon, hopefully for his sake a little more frequently than he has been able to in the last couple years. Great job Sensei, you made every Tiger Schulmann’s instructor and student proud!