UFC Fight Night 70 went down this past Saturday night, and the results were noteworthy. Big headlines were made when Yoel Romero knocked Lyoto Machida out cold, and cemented his place as a top contender in the middleweight division. But what about Lorenz Larkin?
In the co-main event of the evening, fans were treated to a brutal slugfest between the Kung Fu specialist Larkin, and his hard hitting Argentinian opponent Santiago Ponzinibbio. It was a fight that many people thought would end brutally, and it did.
Larkin and Ponzinibbio exchanged equal blows for the first round and a half. It then became apparent that Larkin was on another level, putting together combinations that were too much for Ponzinibbio to handle. With a little less than two minutes left in round 2, Larkin delivered the last few blows. Ponzinibbio was out on his feet when the ref stepped in – and Larkin was introduced to stardom.
Larkin has a long way to go, but what he showed this past Saturday was his ability to withstand a dogfight. The welterweight division is arguably the best division in the UFC right now, making it very hard for fighters in the division to become contenders.
Before signing with the UFC, Larkin had a very successful career in Strikeforce, amassing a record of 4-0, with one no contest. That one no contest came against Muhammed Lawal, originally a knockout that was overturned after Lawal tested for positive for steroids. After that fight, Larkin went on to beat none other than the current UFC welterweight champion – Robbie Lawler.
The end of Larkin’s stint with Strikeforce is the reason why he is such an intriguing fighter now. His start in the UFC was difficult, losing four of his first five fights. But, just like Lawler did, Larkin made the move down to welterweight and has enjoyed much success since.
Larkin now finds himself on a two-fight win streak, with big TKO victories over John Howard and the aforementioned Ponzinibbio. Larkin is one of the only active fighters on the UFC roster that can say they have beaten the champ.
If Larkin continues to improve, and pave his way at 170 pounds, he could find himself contending for the title. And I haven’t spoken to Larkin personally, but I would bet he is itching to get his hands on Lawler once more.