Coming off the biggest win of his career, Lorenz Larkin is in for another challenge April 20 when he makes his UFC debut at UFC on Fox 7 against Francis Carmont.
“Evidently I came in with something since they put me against Carmont,” Larkin told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “To me, he’s one of the top prospects in the UFC. … He’s on a four-fight win streak in the UFC. That says enough in itself.”
Carmont has not lost since 2008. The French middleweight edged Tom Lawlor via split decision last November in his most recent bout, and he also holds UFC wins over Karlos Vemola, Magnus Cedenblad and Chris Camozzi.
Larkin has been building an impressive resume himself, though. Undefeated, his 13 wins include a unanimous decision over Robbie Lawler last July in Strikeforce.
“I always look at it like this: Before I got to Strikeforce, I was a nobody,” Larkin said. “Nobody knew me. I was just that guy that filled in somebody else’s spot. I was expected to lose, and then from there I almost had a title shot in Strikeforce.”
Because Strikeforce shut down, however, Larkin is instead making the move to the UFC. Against Carmont, he’ll have an opportunity to establish himself in the promotion’s 185-pound division.
“To beat anybody that’s on a four-fight winning streak, in your first fight in the UFC, is a big deal in my eyes,” Larkin said.
The 26-year-old attended UFC 157, which featured Ronda Rousey’s submission win over Liz Carmouche, and got a feel for how a UFC event differs from Strikeforce. The transition hasn’t quite hit him yet, but he knows it will soon enough.
“In my personal opinion, I feel like the crowd is more lively at the UFC compared to Strikeforce,” he said. “When a guy got hit, the whole crowd was in an uproar.”
Certainly Larkin will look to give fans something to roar about against Carmont. He plans on standing with his opponent, but he also plans on Carmont eventually trying to take the fight to the ground.
“Every fighter wants to see how it goes standing up,” Larkin said. “Well, no. I have seen a couple of fights where guys come out and shoot, but most of the guys want to test the waters, and once that gets uncomfortable, then they want to go to their second nature. I expect that when it doesn’t go his way standing up that he’s going to try to take me down and do what he’s good at.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:18:34).