Brock Larson has not lost in more than two years. | Photo: One Fighting Championship
One Fighting Championship was born nearly three years ago, and after compiling a roster of fighters from around the globe, Asia’s largest MMA organization has decided to put its inaugural welterweight title up for grabs.
More than a decade into his career, Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Brock Larson will face Japanese karateka Nobutatsu Suzuki for the vacant 170-pound crown at One FC 14 “War of Nations” on Friday at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Well-known for his submission skills, Larson was a wrestler in high school but moved on to Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Koumei Dojo as a student at Itasca Community College.
“It was there where I discovered my love for grappling through BJJ, which then brought me to MMA,” he said. “I now have a black belt in BJJ -- which I’m very proud of -- from Dave Camarillo.”
Larson has delivered 26 of his 37 professional wins by submission, earning “Submission of the Night” honors for his arm-triangle choke against Mike Pyle at UFC 98. Although a majority of his wins have come via tapout, he also holds six victories by knockout or technical knockout, leaving with a “Knockout of the Night” bonus after dispatching Carlo Prater at WEC 35. Larson has traveled the world, but one accomplishment has eluded him: He has never won a major MMA title. Now, One FC has provided him with another opportunity to do so.
“One FC is a world-class organization that reached out to me,” Larson said. “They handle everything with such great professionalism. In terms of talent, it might not be a deep class, but there is world-class talent at the top of every division. I want to win the One FC welterweight title and defend it for as long as they can find challengers.”
Of the three submission losses he has suffered, his encounter with a certain “Natural Born Killer” at WEC 29 in 2007 sticks out.
“Every fight that I’ve had was a tough fight,” Larson said. “If I had to choose one to rematch, I’d like the Carlos Condit match back. I believe I can defeat him.”
Larson was released by the UFC after posting a 3-3 record and has won eight of his 11 fights since. The 36-year-old Minnesotan will ride a four-fight winning streak into his showdown with Suzuki. Larson made his promotional debut at One FC 8 in April, earning a unanimous decision over Dutch knockout artist Melvin Manhoef. He attributes his recent successes to the work he has put in at American Top Team and the Get Sum Athletic Compound.
“I train at two great gyms now, which I think have made a huge difference,” Larson said. “Both gyms have great people and great training, and I think they have helped me improve significantly.”
As he prepares to confront Suzuki, who scored a first-round technical knockout over Phil Baroni in May, Larson has made it his business to study his opponent.
“I saw the fight with him and Phil,” he said. “Phil is tough, but Suzuki took advantage of the fight when he needed to -- a great win for him over a great fighter. I’m going to just constantly put pressure on him by going forward [and] force him to constantly move backwards. I’m not going to let him get comfortable.”