After suffering three consecutive losses in 2014, Lorenz Larkin dropped from the middleweight division to the 170-pound weight class. He fought as a welterweight for the second time on Saturday and showed that there’s a storm coming in the division.
“The Monsoon” picked Santiago Ponzinibbio apart with speed and variety on his way to a second-round technical knockout win in the UFC Fight Night 70 co-main event.
Ponzinibbio aggressively pursued Larkin, but the Californian moved laterally to avoid damage while regularly landing his jab. He mixed up his attack, chopping down the lead leg of Ponzinibbio.
“I listened to my coaches… They told me to keep attacking the leg. I did for a little bit and then I stopped. Then my coach got made at me,” said Larkin during his post-fight interview.
Ponzinibbio pressed the pace in the second round. He moved forward and pressured Larkin. Larkin was more than willing to exchange and the two stood toe-to-toe throwing strikes that had bad intentions. Midway through the frame Larkin connected on a combination that sent Ponzinibbio crashing to the canvas.
Sensing that the end was near, Larkin pounced on his Argentinian opponent and delivered a series of punches. Ponzinibbio made his way back to his feet, but Larkin continued to land right hands until referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the action.
“I feel great,” said the 28-year-old following the stoppage.
With the win, Larkin is undefeated (2-0) as a welterweight. He knocked out John Howard in his 170-pound debut in January. The change in weight class has breathed new life into his career. He’s gone from the brink of being released by the organization to being on the radar in a new division.
“I didn’t have that good of a run at 185 in the organization. My back was against the wall against John Howard,” said Larkin. “I just never want to be in that position again. I was a cat in a corner and I had to come back.”