Following the Bellator 180 card on Spike TV, Bellator NYC went down live from Madison Square Garden in NYC on Pay-per-View. Opening the event was a five round welterweight title fight between reigning champion Douglas Lima, and newly signed Lorenz Larkin. Be sure to check out our staff picks here.
With one title already changing hands on the night, could there be another new champ crowned, right off the bat?
Lima opened the action in the first with a leg kick that landed with a crack. The champion held the center of the octagon early, lunging in with a jab to the body, then countering Larkin’s own punch with another leg kick. Larkin then went to the leg as well. Lima went to the body with a kick next.
Larkin would later begin to control where the fight played out, using feints and footwork, but not landing a whole lot. Lima continued to find the most success by attacking the legs, but Larkin got some offense off with a 1-2 combo around the ninety second mark. He also flashed a stance switch briefly.
Round two saw Lima opening with a jab, landing a kick to the body then targeting Larkin’s legs in a good mix of strikes. Larkin answered back by rushing in with a combination moments later. Another combo followed, with Lima covering up and pedaling backwards.
At the three minute mark, Larkin caught Lima with a right that got his attention, but Lima then dropped Lorenz Larkin with a left! Lima followed, moving into his guard as he looked to score further damage. After some time with Lima on top, Larkin escaped back to his feet, but the affair seemed a little more electric.
Larkin would use his kicks to create space, and Lima looked just a little tired after trying to finish the fight. At the end, they’d stand and bang a little, and that took us to the third.
The third started off at a slightly slower pace, with Lima controling the cage early, and Larkin in a southpaw stance trying to circle out of the way. Lima once again worked in some leg kicks, a factor that could easily steal him a round on the scorecards were it to come to that. Halfway in, Lima’s jab began to find its home, and he continued to mix in kicks, targeting the body as well as the legs. It looked to be Lima’s round in the third.
Round four opened with the very real possibility that champion Lima was up three rounds to none. Larkin could have stolen one round, but needed to focus and get the momentum back in his favor. Lima, however, was first to connect with a left hook. A Larkin kick connected with Lima’s arm, but had little impact. Lima pushed the pace most of the round, with Larkin unable to make much happen. Not a ton of action in the fourth, but you could feel Lima finding his comfort zone.
In the final minute, an exchange led to Larkin slipping while moving back, and Lima pouncing at the opportunity to attempt to mount, but nothing came of it prior to the bell sounding.
More than likely, Lorenz Larkin would need a finish if he planned on leaving New York with gold following Bellator NYC. He stayed a little more active in the fifth frame, but struggled to get past Lima’s defenses. Lima managed to elude any number of Larkin attacks, while landing his own lefts and jabs at ease. Larkin landed a solid body kick with a minute left, which Lima later answered, connecting with Larkin’s arm. Ultimately, Larkin was unable to find the finish, and it went to the scorecards. When the decision was read, Lima retained!
Rory MacDonald was in attendance, and he’ll get the next shot at Lima’s title.
Douglas Lima def. Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision (50-45, 48-47, 48-47)