Dana White continues to deliver on his promise of making up to Strikeforce fighters for last year, when they had to endure being part of a dying organization. Most of the fighters have been set up in bouts, but a few outliers still remained. Now, Lorenz Larkin, Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante are all set for their UFC debuts. Larkin is set to face Francis Carmont at UFC on Fox 7, and St. Preux and Villante will fight each other at UFC 159.
Larkin was set to face Luke Rockhold at the final Strikeforce card, but injuries forced both fighters off the card. Rockhold went on to be matched up against Vitor Belfort, while Larkin will now face Carmont, who is currently 4-0 in the Octagon. Carmont was dominate in his decision win over Chris Camozzi and submission wins over Magnus Cedenblad and Karlos Vermola, but his last fight against Tom Lawlor was not as impressive. Many people thought that Lawlor had won the bout, but the judges saw it for Carmont by split decision. While Larkin is known as a striker, it will be interesting to see how he deals with the height and reach advantage of Carmont.
St. Preux is better known by his moniker “OSP”, and he was on the rise in Strikeforce until he ran into Gegard Mousasi. That loss looks like it spurred St. Preux to step his game up, as he knocked T.J. Cook out cold in the third round of their fight. He will need that striking ability as he faces former heavyweight Villante. Losing his first two fights in Strikeforce had to be tough on Villante, but he turned it around winning three consecutive bouts. The layoff could be tough on Villante, who has not fought since May of last year, while OSP fought in August.