by Brian Lopez-Benchimol – MMAWeekly.com
A familiar face is set to grace the Octagon once again, as former WEC contender Brock Larson makes his return to the UFC on April 1.
The Minnesota Native has seen a lot of success since joining the WEC ranks. Going 4-1 with his lone loss coming to the hands of than champ Carlos Condit, he began his WEC career after earning his first (and so far last) UFC victory over Keita Nakamura back in December of 2006.
However, Larson as of late has been uncharacteristically inactive, and touched base on the matter while a guest on MMAWeekly Radio “It’s been a long ass layoff, so I’m ready to get back in there and do my thing.”
With the WEC having done away with both the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions recently, the shallow pool of talent became evident in the welterweight division as well. Matchmaker Sean Shelby had struggled to find enough talent to arrange bouts, resulting in several last minute changes.
“They initially told me I’d be fighting in January. I’d be fighting one of the Brazilian fighters that they had lined up, [Danillo] Villefort,” explained Larson. “And then they cancelled that and said, ‘no lets have you fight March 1, Carlos Condit,’ and I said, ‘okay, awesome, perfect,’ and than they cancelled that fight. So now I’m ready. I’ve been ready. So I’ve got the itch; I’m hungry.”
Having only incurred two losses during his already illustrious career, it’s the loss to Condit in his bid to become WEC Champion that stings the most. “That was the one fight I wanted back out of my two losses. Jon Fitch and I fought a great fight, went to decision; I lost the decision. Carlos and I, he submitted me and I don’t think he’d do that again. That’s the one fight I want to redeem. I want a do over. I wanted a mulligan.”
Though Larson understands the UFC may have other plans for both him and Condit, he still chooses to remain optimistic in a chance the two might meet again, this time inside the UFC. “Maybe if we both keep winning or if he loses a couple and he needs to get back on track and he thinks a win over me will do it, maybe that will happen or something like that. I’m all for it if they’re willing to do it. I’m willing to do it. The outcome would definitely be different.”
While he still remains a top player in his division, Larson understands there will be naysayers, and that because he is a WEC import, there will be those who will question whether or not he will be able to compete effectively in one of the UFC’s most stacked divisions. “Whenever you come into an organization – whether it’s the UFC, WEC, Extreme Challenge, anything – I think when it’s your first time back or, you know, you’re always trying to prove that you belong there wherever it is. All in all, I think most people respect that I belong there and know that I belong there.”
And as for those who don’t, “Those guys who don’t think that or think that I need to earn that back, well, then they just have to tune in and watch and see what I do to Jesse (Sanders).”
Brock Larson will return to action after a near eight-month layoff, taking on Jesse Sanders on April 1 at UFC Fight Night 18 in Nashville, Tenn.