In the biggest grudge match Bellator has featured since Sonnen vs. Silva, welterweights Lorenz Larkin, fresh off a Bellator debut loss for the title against Douglas Lima, and English vet Paul Daley went to war. Larkin had made his distaste for “Semtex” clear in the build-up to the fight, rarely even wishing to speak about his upcoming opponent.
Then, at weigh-ins Friday, Larkin and Daley wound up in a bit of a brawl (more of a shoving match, really) that got the MMA world talking. This was looking to be a fantastic fight with more than its share of bad blood motivating the fighters.
So how did things play out on Saturday?
Not surprisingly there was no glove touch to start. Daley opened things up with a number of kicks to the legs, as well as looking to land kicks to the body. Larkin would answer back, but after ninety seconds, neither man had done any significant damage. The kicks continued, while Daley looked to find range with his jab. A straight left by Larkin backed Daley up, but Daley covered up and escaped harm. A combo from a charging Larkin landed a minute later, and in an even round, those shots could have made all the difference. With just over a minute left another combo from Larkin saw shots land; Daley answered back, but this time slipped after attempting a head kick. Larkin moved into his guard, while Daley attempted a triangle. Larkin, out of danger, moved into side control, and would finish the round on top.
Larkin connected first with a body kick in the second round, then slipped under a Daley punch and tied his opponent up against the fence. Daley would eventually break free, and charge forward with some heavy bombs. Larkin escaped, while Daley surprised everyone by looking for a takedown of his own. That failed (perhaps for the best), and Larkin again tied him up against the fence. Larkin was then clipped by a spinning back elbow, which may have only grazed him, but the left hook that followed landed home! Larkin was wobbled, ate a couple more left hooks, and that was all she wrote! Paul Daley with the knockout, and sending a message that there’s no easy fight in Bellator.
After the bout, Daley called out Michael Page once again, and added “I’m not really a mixed martial artist, I’m just a guy who loves to fight, and when I fight people get knocked out, simple as that.”
Paul Daley def. Lorenz Larkin by knockout, Round 2, 2:40