UFC Fight Night 35 Notebook: The Tug of War

By Brian Knapp Jan 15, 2014
Lorenz Larkin has delivered eight of his 14 wins by KO or TKO. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Lorenz Larkin has no problem with quick turnarounds.

A little more than two months after he last fought, Larkin will return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Octagon to oppose Brad Tavares in the UFC Fight Night 35 “Rockhold vs. Philippou” co-main event on Wednesday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The 27-year-old Millennia MMA representative was ready, willing and able when UFC officials called his number.

“I always want to get back in, as long as I’m healthy,” Larkin told Sherdog.com. “I didn’t even get a chance to ask. It was already there. I was happy to get back in camp. I love being right back in camp and getting another fight. I want to fight as much as I can. As long as they keep putting me in and I’m healthy, I’ll keep fighting.”

Larkin last appeared at UFC Fight Night 31 in November, when he picked apart Chris Camozzi with a variety of strikes en route to a unanimous decision at Fort Campbell in Hopkinsville, Ky. The victory helped ease some of the aggravation left over from his first official defeat -- a controversial decision loss to Francis Carmont at UFC on Fox 7. In Tavares, Larkin sees a well-versed opponent.

“He’s not just a striker,” he said. “He’s got ground, and he has wrestling. I’m not coming in expecting this to be a standup war at all. If it is, then so be it. I’m going to use all my tools. I think I’m dangerous to him [because I am] kind of unpredictable. I’m learning more and more as my fights go along, as my career gets higher up. I’m starting to evolve.”

Tavares will enter the cage on a four-fight winning streak, having never been finished as a professional. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum last fought at UFC Fight Night 27 in August, when he captured a unanimous verdict over Bubba McDaniel at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Tavares has quietly compiled a 6-1 record since arriving in the UFC in 2010. Larkin expects a competitive scrap befitting of its place on the UFC Fight Night 35 lineup.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to go all three rounds, but I know for a fact it’s going to be exciting,” he said. “The good thing about Tavares is there’s no quit in him, and there’s no quit in me. You put that combination in the cage, [and] you’re going to have an exciting fight no matter what. I know we’re going to bring it. I know it’s co-main event-worthy.”

Motivating Miller

Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com

Miller is 9-6 in the UFC.
American Top Team’s Cole Miller finds motivation in the untold hours he has put into his craft.

Now a seasoned piece of the UFC’s 145-pound division, Miller will collide with “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 graduate Sam Sicilia in a featherweight showcase at UFC Fight Night 35. The 29-year-old Augusta, Ga., native last competed at UFC Fight Night 30 in October, when he earned a unanimous decision over Andy Ogle at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, England. Miller has not recorded back-to-back wins since he defeated Dan Lauzon and Ross Pearson eight months apart in 2010.

“Right now, I’m the best I’m ever been,” he said. “I have a higher skill set [and] a higher understanding as far as what’s going on in mixed martial arts right now. Because I’m at this point, I want to win. I want to thrive. I want to show people and myself and my coaches. I want them to reap the rewards and dividends of all the hard work I’ve put in. That’s kind of the motivation there right now.”

This & That

UFC Fight Night 35 will be the fifth Ultimate Fighting Championship event staged in the state of Georgia, joining UFC 11, UFC 13, UFC 88 and UFC 145 ... Costas Philippou hails from Cyprus, a small 3,800-square-mile island nation in the Mediterranean Sea ... Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw wrestled collegiately at Cal State Fullerton, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology ... Yoel Romero Palacio, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics, was a five-time medalist at the FILA Wrestling World Championships ... John Moraga’s only two defeats have come to reigning UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner John Dodson, arguably the top two fighters in the world at 125 pounds ... When Ramsey Nijem was born on April 1, 1988, the top five songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list were Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Richard Marx’s “Endless Summer Nights,” Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” Debbie Gibson’s “Out of the Blue” and Keith Sweat’s “I Want Her” ... Each of Brian Houston’s past three bouts -- two wins and a loss -- have ended in less than a minute ... Louis Smolka once worked as a mascot for the Papa John’s Pizza chain ... AMA Fight Club export Charlie Brenneman has held titles in the Ring of Combat and Cage Fury Fighting Championships promotions ... In his December 2012 defeat to Rustam Khabilov, Vinc Pichel was taken down five times and outstruck by a 19-1 margin ... When Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts lightweight Isaac Vallie-Flagg climbs into the cage with the unbeaten Elias Silverio, six years, five months and 18 days will have passed since his last loss.


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