This past April, Lorenz Larkin burst onto the scene with an impressive two-round destruction of Strikeforce light heavyweight up-and-comer Scott Lighty.
Since then, he’s gone from relative unknown, to someone who’s generating a lot of buzz in the 205-pound division.
“It’s been a total difference in everything,” Larkin told MMAWeekly.com. “Right after the fight I got a lot of exposure, a lot more recognition, and a lot more people are paying attention to me now.
“I felt like that was my one shot opportunity, so I was planning on leaving everything in the cage after all was said and done.”
On that night, like throughout his career so far, Larkin’s striking was on full display, but don’t let that fool you; he’s more than just a one-dimensional fighter.
“I am considered a striker, but that’s not the main thing I work on in camp,” said Larkin. “I think everybody wants to get me to the ground, and my outlook on it is, if it goes to the ground, no problem; I’ll work from there.
“Don’t expect to shoot in and take you down. It’s not what I want to see. It’s not what the fans want to see. It doesn’t make for an exciting fight. But if it does go (to the ground), there’s nothing that scares me there.”
Having finished all but two of his 10 opponents, the pressure to keep winning in exciting fashion could easily manifest itself, but Larkin doesn’t see it that way.
“I just go in to fight,” he said. “I’m not scared to lose. I know that it’s going to come. If my record stays undefeated, great, if not, I’m just going to work harder in my next fight.”
When Larkin returns as a part of Friday night’s Strikeforce Challengers 16 event, he’ll be taking on the biggest test of his career in Gian Villante, a fighter who likes to stand. But don’t expect a slugfest.
“His last fight with Chad Griggs, I could never see myself in a position like that to go blow-for-blow with somebody,” said Larkin. “It’s not me, it’s not my style. I don’t think it’s going to be slugfest, but if he’s willing to trade, that’s on him.
“I’m not going to slug it out with him, I’m going to pick my shots, and if he wants to stay there and bang with me, that’s okay.”
While he likes to strike, Larkin sees himself as a technician rather than a slugger.
“I consider myself a smart fighter,” he said. “When guys get in there and start slugging it out, the percentages are 50/50. It becomes not about who is technical, but who lands that one clean shot. That’s when you stray away from being a professional.
“We train technique (at my gym). I don’t want to get in there and hope that I clip him. If I hit him, it’s because I intended to hit him at that certain time, not just a lucky shot.”
Having fought nearly every other month the past year and a half, Larkin looks to remain busy, but won’t sacrifice his opportunity for the sake of trying too hard to capitalize on his newfound attention.
“I just want to establish myself with Strikeforce,” he closed out. “My first fight and my debut, nobody really knew about me. When somebody thinks about Strikeforce, I want them mentioning my name some way, some how.
“I’m not doing it for big things right now. I just want good, smart fights that the fans like to watch, (like this) Friday at Strikeforce Challengers. It’s going to be a real good fight. You’re going to want to DVR this one.”