Win or lose, lessons are learned each and every fight, and both James Cardinal-Lauzon and Adam Sproule are looking to prove that.
Montreal, QC’s Cardinal-Lauzon (3-1) will square off with Toronto, Ont.’s Sproule (2-1) in a middleweight showdown at MFL 18 in Montreal, QC on Saturday night.
Cardinal-Lauzon, 29, was last in action at Fightquest 47 where he left with a third round knockout victory over Todd Elvrum.
Cardinal-Lauzon said he learned a lot about his character in that fight, and that he has the ability to push through adversity and still walk away with his hand raised.
“The first round went well. We were doing pretty good, but then all of a sudden in the second round I sort of had an adrenaline dump, and he beat the brakes off me for an entire round,” said Cardinal-Lauzon in an interview with MMA Empire.
“People can compare me to the Diaz brothers; I come to fight and I can take damage, even though that’s not something I’m coming there to do. I weathered the storm in the second round, and came back in the third and put him away within 20 seconds.”
Sproule, 27, last set foot in the cage earlier this year at War of Gods 2, where he would go on to drop a unanimous decision to one of Canada’s top amateur middleweights, Dorian Dokaj.
Sproule said he learned a valuable lesson from that fight, which was to keep the pressure on and continue to be aggressive.
“I need to be able to step on the gas a little more. I was having way too much fun in that fight, and I felt like I was winning it the entire time, so I didn’t pursue the finish as much as I should’ve,” said Sproule in an interview with MMA Empire.
Cardinal-Lauzon learning to use length
Standing at 6’5″, Cardinal-Lauzon doesn’t encounter too many opponents in the middleweight division who can match his height and reach.
Cardinal-Lauzon said he hasn’t always known how to effectively use his height and reach to his advantage, but now that he does he finds it to be a favourable tool.
“The height and reach is always a big advantage as long as you use it properly. My issue earlier in my career was I was a tall fighter fighting like a short fighter. It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve been training with coaches who have been teaching me to use my distance a lot more,” said Cardinal-Lauzon.
“Reach advantage is definitely a huge factor in this fight. I don’t know how tall or long he is, but I hope, for his sake, he’s had some tall sparring partners in training, otherwise he’s going to find it very tough.”
Cardinal-Lauzon trains out of the renowned Tristar Gym in Montreal, home to the likes of Georges St-Pierre, John Makdessi, Rory MacDonald, and several other high-level fighters, all working under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi.
Cardinal-Lauzon said being able to train at a facility like Tristar has been a big help for his overall game, and he continues to improve significantly week-by-week.
“It’s a big advantage because it’s a lot of new information to me that I’ve never really had the opportunity to access in the past. Firas is a genius, honestly. He’s a brain to pick. If you ever have questions to ask that guy, you can always talk to him, and he’s very helpful,” said Cardinal-Lauzon.
“It’s a very good team spirit. People are there to help each other, and sparring rounds are always intense.”
When it comes to standing across the cage from Sproule, Cardinal-Lauzon said he’s done a good job familiarizing himself with what Sproule brings to the cage.
After watching Sproule’s last fight, Cardinal-Lauzon said he was able to identify multiple holes he will be able to exploit.
“In his last fight, he got taken down pretty consistently. He doesn’t seem like he can sprawl too good. I hope to god he’s been working on his wrestling, otherwise it’s going to be a long night for him. He also keeps his hands low, so he’s very susceptible to linear strikes up the middle,” said Cardinal-Lauzon.
“What I can say good about him is he’s a gamer, he comes to fight, he throws some nice kicks, and he has experience in the fight game.”
Sproule expects striking edge
Sproule comes from a striking background, while also boasting a significant number of kickboxing fights on his resume.
He said he expects to have the advantage over the taller Cardinal-Lauzon when it comes to the striking department.
“My background is striking, so I’d say that’s my biggest advantage,” said Sproule.
“I never like to put on a boring fight, and I just try to make it as exciting as possible.”
Standing at 6’2″ himself, Sproule will only be giving up three inches in height to Cardinal-Lauzon.
Having fought multiple taller opponents in the past, Sproule said he’s not worried about dealing with the height of Cardinal-Lauzon.
“As far as his height goes, I’m not too worried. I’ve faced taller opponents than him,” said Sproule.
“The taller he is the less mass he’s walking around with, muscle-wise.”
In his two amateur wins, Sproule was successful in ending one of them by knockout prior to the final bell.
Sproule said he’s expecting to have his hand raised once again Saturday night, and is expecting to do so inside three rounds.
“I see myself getting my hand raised and not leaving it up to the judges,” said Sproule.
“Whether it’s a submission or a knockout, I’ll leave that up to him.”
“I’d like to thank Tristar Gym for welcoming me in with open arms, Xavier Alaoui at 360 Punch, and Gracie Barra.” Follow Cardinal-Lauzon on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM
“I’d just like to thank my gyms (Budo Canada, Empire MMA) and my coach, Benjamin.” Follow Sproule on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM