Undefeated Lorenz Larkin Says Headlining Sept. 23rd Challengers “Feels Like A Dream”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Despite having won back-to-back bouts under the Strikeforce banner to extend his undefeated pro record to 11-0, Lorenz Larkin says he was shocked to find out that he had been assigned headliner status for the promotion’s upcoming Challengers card. The 25 year-old-light-heavyweight will step into the main even spotlight on September 23rd, and will take on Virgil Zwicker (10-2) live on Showtime. (Pictured: Larkin punching Scott Lighty at Challengers 15 in April)
“It was crazy enough to be where I’m at in the organization to begin with, to be a signed fighter and everything, let alone my third fight as the main event you know?” Larkin told FCF. “It kind of felt like surreal because it was so hard for me to get to Strikeforce, so to be headlining, it kind of feels like a dream.”
Since turning pro in 2009, the former boxer has continued to further his reputation as a finisher, by recording six knockout wins and two TKO stoppages in 11 MMA fights. In addition to Larkin’s undefeated record, “The Monsoon’s” penchant for striking likely played heavily in Strikeforce’s decision to assign him headliner status.
“I think I may be starting to grow a bit of a following for being an exciting fighter,” said Larkin. “I think the ground is good, it’s part of the game, but I think more people like to watch exciting fights as far as knockouts and good striking. That part helps me out being where I’m at, as far as putting on an entertaining show and winning over fans.”
In Zwicker, Larkin will take on an opponent who has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, which includes a stoppage win over rising light-heavyweight Ovince St. Preux in September, 2009.
“I’m not too sure,” said Larkin when asked if he believes the Team Quest fighter will look to take him down or test his striking. “In the past I’ve always said to myself that I wouldn’t say that this guy is going to try to take me down, because every time I say that, they always try to stand and bang with me. He is a good striker and I think he’s going to come out and test my striking.”
“He’s a top prospect too you know?” Larkin added. “He’s 10-2 and he’s no slouch, and I don’t think of him as one. I know when he comes out he’s going to give it his all; I know he’s going to bring his A game.”
At 6’2, the former heavyweight Zwicker should be the bigger man come September 23rd, but the 5’11 tall Larkin believes he’s already demonstrated that he has a bright future competing at 205lbs.
“I’m going to stay at 205,” said Larkin. “When I fought Gian Villante he’s probably going to be one of the larger light-heavyweights I’m going to face and I don’t think I had too many issues with him. Later on down the line if there’s the right fight that the fans want to see and it sounds good, then I might make a 185 fight, a one fight thing.”
So does Larkin believe a bout with noted striker and Strikeforce middleweight Cung Le may be one of those fights?
“I guess I can see why people would want to see that fight,” said Larkin. “Down the line, if it makes sense, but the bottom line is that I want to do what makes sense for my career and what the fans want to see, but I don’t see myself staying at 185.”
Le recently went public and announced that he was hoping to secure a spot on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s upcoming November 19th card in San Jose, due to the fact that it’s taking place in his hometown. It’s a request that Le could make because of Zuffa’s recent acquisition of Strikeforce, which has fostered considerable and well documented speculation about the promotion’s future.
“When I first started hearing about it I heard that the Showtime deal might not end for two more years, and then I read that it might end in February,” Larkin said while discussing Strikeforce’s future. “I’m not too worried about it. I’m just going to keep on fighting, put on good shows, and there’s always going to be a spot for me somewhere.”