UFC Fight Night Prelims: New-Look Lorenz Larkin Spoils John Howard Homecoming

By Brian Knapp Jan 18, 2015

Lorenz Larkin walked right through John Howard.

Larkin took care of the man they call “Doomsday” with a crackling right hand and follow-up strikes at UFC Fight Night “McGregor vs. Siver” on Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston. Howard (22-11, 6-6 UFC) met his end 2:17 into round one, as he made a strong first impression in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division.

Leg kicks were at the forefront of Howard’s game plan, and they were effective. However, Larkin (15-4, 2-4 UFC) sent a right hand crashing into the Boston native’s chin, staggering him where he stood. Howard collapsed in a dazed state soon after. Larkin then unleashed punches and an elbow to the head before turning to referee Herb Dean in hopes of eliciting the stoppage. Dean urged him to continue, and “The Monsoon” obliged, closing out Howard with a volley of unanswered lefts.

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Once-Beaten Wade Outduels Zhang

Former Ring of Combat champion Chris Wade put his fourth straight victory in the books, as he claimed a unanimous decision from “The Ultimate Fighter: China” winner Lipeng Zhang in a preliminary lightweight battle. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict: 30-26 for Wade (9-1, 2-0 UFC).

Wade benefited from a second-round point deduction for low blows and leaned heavily on the clinch. He was at his best in round three, where he countered a Zhang (9-8-1, 2-1 UFC) takedown with a whizzer, drilled him with elbows and eventually settled in side control, scoring with mild but effective ground-and-pound.

The defeat snapped Zhang’s three-fight winning streak.

Holohan Cruises Past Howell

SBG Ireland standout Patrick Holohan won for the sixth time in seven outings, as he cruised to a one-sided unanimous decision over Shane Howell in an undercard affair at 125 pounds. Holohan (11-1-1, 2-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with identical 30-27 marks.

Howell (13-9, 0-2 UFC) refused to go away, but he never posed a threat to the Irishman. Holohan executed repeated takedowns, softened the Oklahoman with ground-and-pound and painted him into a corner with a steady diet of submission attempts. A palm-to-palm rear-naked choke in round one brought “The Hooligan” within an eyelash of a finish, but he settled for the decision instead and rebounded from his Oct. 4 defeat to Chris Kelades.

Case Wins 10th Straight

Alliance MMA representative Johnny Case dismissed World Series of Fighting alum Frankie Perez with third-round ground-and-pound from the mount in a preliminary lightweight encounter.

A short-notice replacement for the injured Francisco Trevino, Perez (9-2, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to the blows 1:54 into round three.

Case (20-4, 2-0 UFC) was in command from start to finish. The 25-year-old piled up points with takedowns, ground-and-pound and an active top game, as he pushed a frenetic pace and wore down the newcomer. In the third round, Case secured the last of his takedowns and passed between full mount and back mount before finishing it with unanswered elbows and punches.

The surging Case has rattled off 10 straight wins.

Rosa Choke Submits Soriano

American Top Team’s Charles Rosa submitted Sean Soriano with a third-round brabo choke in an undercard tilt at 145 pounds. Rosa (10-1, 1-1 UFC) finished it 4:43 into round three, as the Ricardo Liborio-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt landed the seventh submission win of his young career.

Soriano (8-3, 0-3 UFC) was effective in spurts, particularly with leg kicks. However, the Blackzilians export ran out of gas in the latter stages of the fight. Rosa threatened him with various submissions throughout the second and third rounds, a Peruvian necktie among them. With Soriano fading in the final minute, Rosa secured a takedown and slid the fight-ending choke into position. A reluctant tapout appeared to follow, though Soriano protested referee Kevin MacDonald’s decision to intervene.

O’Connell Weathers, Stops Van Buren

Sean O'Connell put away Alliance MMA export Matt Van Buren with third-round punches in a preliminary light heavyweight clash. O’Connell (16-6, 1-2 UFC) brought it to a close 2:11 into round three, as he threw the brakes on a two-fight losing streak.

Van Buren (6-4, 0-2 UFC) controlled much of the match with close-quarters knee strikes to the body, but “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 finalist carried his hands low and his head high; and eventually, he paid the price. O’Connell set him on rubbery legs with a rolling overhand right in the second round, turning the tide in a blink. In round three, the Jeremy Horn disciple blasted Van Buren with a two-punch combination, swarmed with follow-up shots and ultimately sealed the deal with unanswered blows along the fence.

The 28-year-old Van Buren has lost three of his last four fights.

Sanchez Rides Late Surge Past Matsuda

Jackson-Wink MMA prospect Joby Sanchez bounced back from his first professional defeat and claimed a split decision over Tateki Matsuda in an entertaining undercard scrap at 125 pounds. Two of the three cageside judges scored it for Sanchez by 29-28 and 30-27 marks; a third cast a dissenting 29-28 nod in favor of Matsuda.

Matsuda (10-7, 0-2 UFC) threw and landed more often over the first 10 minutes, but Sanchez exacted far more in terms of meaningful damage. He floored the Team Sityodtong rep with a clean right hand in the opening stanza. However, Sanchez saved his best work for round three. There, he staggered Matsuda with a clubbing right to the temple and forced the Japanese kickboxer into survival mode. Sanchez (7-1, 1-1 UFC) later executed a takedown and moved to the Mark DellaGrotte student’s back, putting the finishing touches on his first Octagon victory.


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