UFC on FOX 3 winner Louis Gaudinot done fighting welterweights at bantamweight
by Dann Stupp – MMAjunkie.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Louis Gaudinot the flyweight is far different than Louis Gaudinot the bantamweight.
That’s why, he explained, his UFC-debut loss to 135-pounder Johnny Bedford looked nothing like Saturday’s UFC on FOX 3 victory over 125-pounder John Lineker.
As a very natural flyweight, he’s undefeated. And his only losses have come at a higher weight, where the 135-pounders often look more like welterweights, he said.
“I don’t think I can compete at 135 with these guys at this highest level, especially since some of them come into the cage at 165, 170 (pounds),” the 5-foot-3 fighter said. “I feel like I’m fighting a welterweight.”
Gaudinot (6-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a quarterfinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 14,” suffered a beatdown to Bedford back in December at the show’s live finale. But in a FUEL TV-televised preliminary-card bout at UFC on FOX 3, which took place at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., Gaudinot returned to his normal weight class and dazzled with a second-round submission victory over surging Brazilian vet John Lineker (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who entered the fight with 13 consecutive wins.
Admittedly, Gaudinot needed to erase that memory of the December loss.
“You’re only as good as your last fight, and my last fight was horrible,” he said. “At first, I felt a lot of pressure, but after the training camp and everything, coming in tonight I was all smiles. I was just ready to go out there and have fun. Knowing I had trained so hard, I knew I was going to go out there and things would go my way.”
While his opponent is nicknamed “Hands of Stone,” Gaudinot said Lineker instead should be called “Head of Stone.” The Brazilian took multiple blows to the head but kept ticking until Gaudinot choked him out with a guillotine choke later in the second round.
Afterward, Gaudinot was beaming as he sat in the post-event press conference with the card’s other big winners.
“I never thought I’d be in the UFC,” he said. “This is crazy. This is real. I’m sitting here in this press conference. Like (UFC president) Dana (White) said, six years ago, they didn’t even have lightweights. Flyweight was nonexistent. I just feel honored to be here.”
If there were any hiccup during his performance, it was Gaudinot’s green mane. His long locks resembled a bushy helmet that quickly covered his face for most of the fight.
Gaudinot and his cornermen could be seen arguing about it between rounds.
“If I was your cornerman, I’d have taken the scissors you cut the hands wrap off and cut that thing right off while I was fighting,” Gaudinot’s boss, White, deadpanned.
Gaudinot, though, said it’s nothing he’s not already used to.
“The hair, it really wasn’t bothering me that much,” he said. “I have it in training all the time hanging down all the time. My coaches were concerned about, but it turned out all right.”
As for what’s next, Gaudinot just wants to keep moving forward. Joseph Benavidez will meet the upcoming Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson winner later this year for the UFC’s inaugural flyweight title, and after that, the field is wide open.
With Saturday’s win, Gaudinot has become a legitimate contender in the newly adopted division, and he thinks a few more wins could get him a shot at the belt. But for now?
“I’m just taking it one fight at a time,” he said. “I’ve got to take care of what’s in front of me before thinking about titles.”
Train with Louis Gaudinot at TSMMA Hoboken