Undefeated middleweight prospect Lorenz Larkin will make his transition from Strikeforce to the UFC on April 20th in San Jose, C.A. at UFC on Fox 7. In that bout, the hard hitting California native takes on Francis Carmont, who currently rides a 4-0 streak in the Octagon. Recently, we spoke with Larkin about his upcoming bout and what it means to finally be in the UFC, among other topics. So check out the interview below to catch yourself up on this rising star in the middleweight division.
What lead you to get into MMA?
I use to watch it when I was a kid. The UFC on VHS, I used to watch at my sister’s house. When I was a little kid, I started off with boxing, but I felt that I was too short for my weight. So, I went to MMA to try it out.
After the last year in Strikeforce, does it feel good to finally be in the UFC, and know that events will not be cancelled?
It feels good, because it is pretty much every fighter’s dream to be in the UFC. It is the NFL, the big leagues, because you can’t get much higher than this. I’m pumped about it. It is the type of thing where I’m fulfilling a dream
Your upcoming bout is with Francis Carmont. Where do you see your advantages in that fight?
I feel like I have a striking advantage. I have been working on a lot of things, since my last fight, to put together my all around game. So, I’m not sure [where I have the advantage]. I have just been working my butt off, and tightening up all of the holes to make myself an all around better fighter.
Does that mean you are the type of fighter to go in with a game plan, or do you just feel it out once you get into the cage?
I would say I do not have a major game plan. Something simpler that allows me room to adapt. It depends on how my opponent comes at me, because I like to adapt to them.
Do you feel that fighting at light-heavyweight has prepared you for fighting someone like Carmont, who has a height and reach advantage?
I am always going to be fighting tall guys since I am only 5’11”. It is not too much, because I just have to get past a little bit longer reach. I’m sure I can adapt to it once the fight gets going.
Since this is your second fight at middleweight is the weight cut getting easier?
It is not the weight cut on my body that is difficult. It is not being able to eat what I want. That is the hardest thing about my weight cut, because I have to stay strict at certain times and not eat what I want to.
Where do you think a win over Carmont places you in the division?
It does big things for me. Carmont is one of the top prospects right now at 185. He has a four-fight winning streak in the UFC, and a seven-fight winning streak overall. It will be a big win for me, and it is what I asked for.
I came in and told them, I really do not want to fight a Strikeforce guy, and I want to face someone in the UFC that is established. I wanted to test myself. This is who they came back to me with, and it is only going to boost me up.
The last time you fought was in July. Has the time off given you time to work on aspects of your game, or have you been itching to get back in the cage?
Yes, I have still been in the gym every day working. I have been taking parts of my game where I was weakest and making them stronger. Hopefully, now that I am in the UFC, I can fight more. This layoff really sucked, I hated it. I just want to fight a lot more.
With the loss to King Mo being overturned do you feel like being undefeated puts a target on your back?
I do not really care for [being undefeated]. Coming up as a pro, I never really paid attention to my record. If I lost I lost, and if I won I won. I always fight my heart out, and if someone is going to beat me they are going to have to earn it. I never paid attention to being undefeated or let it worry me at all.
Hypothetically, when you win this fight who would be the one person you would want to face next?
I’m not sure and haven’t really thought about it. Before the switch happened, I really wanted to fight [Chris] Leben. It would have been a fun fight for the fans, but Leben just lost. So, they tend to not put fighters who just lost against someone who just won, but he was the only person I was thinking of.
What is your prediction on the upcoming title fight between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman?
Anderson is going to take it, and I am an Anderson fan.
One of the big topics in MMA is TRT. What are your thoughts on the treatment, and do you believe that it should be banned for fighters to use?
I think they should not be able to use it. To me, anything that enhances or boost up hormones in your body is cheating. Also, anyone that is good at administering and monitoring testosterone levels can get you to the level you need to be at the fight, but have you at a higher rate beforehand. So, for me it is cheating
Is there any sponsors or people you would like to thank?