Bellator 229: Lorenz Larkin Feels MMA Judging Has Evolved, Looking to RIZIN Next

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Lorenz Larkin hopes Scott Coker will give him the nod to represent Bellator MMA at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve show following his Bellator 229 win over former champ Koreshkov.

Temecula, CA — Lorenz Larkin (21–7, 1NC) finally got his crack at former Bellator welterweight champ Andrey Koreshkov Friday night. At Bellator 229, the pair battled to a split decision, with Larkin coming away with the W.

It’s a fight that had been brewing over the better part of a year, an earlier date scuttled due to injury. “It’s great. I wanted this fight to happen,” Larkin told Cageside Press in an exclusive post-fight interview. “I felt like a lot of guys ducked this guy. I wanted the fight to happen. I wanted the fight to happen last fight, but I had to pull out. I’m just glad Bellator made this fight happen again, and it went through, and we got to fight tonight.”

The worst part, mentally at least, was “just the waiting process,” explained Larkin. “The longer you’re out of the cage, you don’t really want to have that cage rust and stuff like that. I like to just fight.” And so the hardest thing was waiting, as months and months went by, for a new date. “You’re just stir crazy and focused on getting a date.”

Once he finally got the October showdown with Koreshkov booked, however, Larkin says his coaches put together a great game plan. End result, “after the fight I felt like I could have ran five miles, I was in perfect shape for this fight.”

Larkin looked maybe just a little nervous when the scores were read. Close decisions will do that. However the former UFC and Strikeforce athlete explained that he feels judging in the sport has evolved.

“If you get me down, then work. Don’t just hold me there. I’m just glad that MMA has evolved so much and the judging has evolved to know that even though the guy is sitting there holding his legs, he’s not doing nothing,” he said. “And the other guy is trying to get up, and he’s trying to advance, the other guy’s just holding his legs, holding his legs. I’m just glad the judges are a lot more logical about the sport and understand so much about the sport now.”

Larkin explained that when it came to Koreshkov’s approach to the fight, “I was just more kind of just pissed off that ‘you’re just holding me.’ Punch my leg, punch my stomach, something. Work. You’re just holding me.'”

Koreshkov did have his moments, mind you, including a wheel kick that hurt Larkin in the first. “The first round, he caught me, but it was more like a little flash. Worked out of it,” Larkin recalled. “The second round, I wish I had more time. It was a little tweak that we’re going to come back and fix. I was just trying to land big shot, big shot, big shot.” Having been in the game so long, Larkin feels as if he should have picked his shots better — but it’s all part of the learning process. “Fight to fight, I’m always learning.”

Larkin said he could feel the former champ tiring after the first round. “I could see it when he was sitting on the stool. And I was feeling still good. I told them in the second round I was going to push, push, push.” That led to the near stoppage.

What’s next for Lorenz Larkin, should he get his way, it a New Year’s date with RIZIN FF in Japan. “Hopefully in about 30 minutes Scott calls me up and says ‘you know what Lorenz, I’ve been thinking, I’m going to send you to RIZIN and represent for the promotion.’ Scott, I’m a company man, send me! Let me off the leash and send me to RIZIN. Let me represent for Bellator.”

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