As Lorenz Larkin gets set to make his Bellator debut this Saturday, it seems pretty clear that the veteran fighter has no regrets about leaving the UFC for the Viacom owned promotion.
Larkin concluded his UFC deal last summer, by taking out welterweight contender Neil Magny in the opening round. Since Larkin had won four of his last five fights, and because of his abilities as a striker, most folks believed the UFC would push hard to resign the fighter. But, after several months went by, it was announced that Larkin had signed with Bellator.
Well, on Saturday, Larkin will take on Bellator’s welterweight champ, Dhiego Lima, at the promotion’s “NYC” card at Madison Square Garden. Recently Larkin was asked about his experiences thus far with Bellator, compared to the UFC, and he said this (quote via MMA Fighting):
“It’s a complete 180,” Larkin said. “I have a one-on-one with [Bellator CEO] Scott [Coker], he calls me if he needs anything or vice versa. Its just a complete 180. I’m pretty sure in this fight, I got marketed more than in my whole career. And it’s disheartening to say that, but it’s true. I’ve never seen so much of me out there.”
“I’m pretty sure other fighters got that (treated like Demterious Johnson),” Larkin added, while referring to Johnson’s grievances with the UFC. “With me, I never had a one-on-one with UFC as far as talking to them and things like about my career or contract or anything like that. He wouldn’t lie. It would be a dumb decision to make some stuff up like that so I’m pretty sure there’s truth to that story.”
Even before Larkin signed with Bellator, he reported he wasn’t happy with how the UFC was utilizing him. So the fact he’s been booked for a title fight right out of the gate, on the biggest card in Bellator’s history, has understandably made him happy.
All this aside, Lima – Larkin has the potential to steal the show at Bellator “NYC”. It is one of three title fights set for the June 24th card, as lightweight champ Michael Chandler will take on Brent Primus, and 205 champ Phil Davis will face Ryan Bader.