In the world of MMA, the agony of defeat can leave a sour taste in your mouth and have a long-lasting effect. The question is how do you bounce back from it. Lorenz Larkin, though, is in a unique state.
Larkin had suffered his first loss in 13 fights when he lost to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in January. It was revealed two weeks later that Lawal had tested positive for the steroid drostanolone. The loss was then changed to a no-contest.
Larkin (12-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 SF) looks to rebound as he makes his middleweight debut tonight against veteran Robbie Lawler (19-8-1 MMA, 3-3 SF) at Strikeforce:Rockhold vs Kennedy. Larkin felt that learned from the loss and he gave Lawal too much respect and won't do that again.
"Never do drugs,"(laughing) Larkin told Bleacher Report. "Just get in there and do what you do. Not give another person too much respect. Don't underestimate him, but don't kind of put him on a high pedestal."
After finding out that Lawal had tested positive for steroids, Larkin started wondering what if Lawal wasn't on steroids, but couldn't get it out of his mind.
"It sucks because things start running through your head," Larkin stated. "Even if you try to not think about it, things like well you know he got caught with steroids. So you know I wonder if he wasn't doing it? How strong would he have been? All these things come into play when things like that happen. That was my second fight in a row that's happened. It sucks."
Fighters drop a weight class sometimes because they go on a losing streak and feel that a drop in weight class will cure that problem. Larkin says that is not the case and the drop from light heavyweight to middleweight had to with more issues than losing fights.
"It was one of those things where when I fight at 205, I have to fight a perfect game," Lakin stated. "I can't have no mistakes. I just got to be on point, which everybody wants to be when they fight. But you know, sometimes you have to have some type of room. No one has a perfect game. But for me, I just felt like I was fighting bigger and stronger guys as my fights went on. Even being in there with Mo, at least he was at my height. I was almost as tall as him.
"Everybody else is just tall and there getting stronger. I just feel like I had to have a perfect game to beat them. Not that I want to slack off at 185, but I think it levels the playing field."
Larkin couldn't have asked for a better debut at 185 in Lawler, who is a veteran of the sport and just last year fought former middlweight champion Jacare Souza when he had the gold.
"We were really happy with this fight," Larkin stated. "We were originally trying to get a possible (Keith) Jardine matchup. But they (Strikeforce) gave us Lawler and I think that's wonderful. From what I've been reading on the internet, fans are pumped up for that fight. I'm just glad they (Strikeforce) picked an exciting fight that a lot of people want to see."
The Larkin vs. Lawler fight is a part of the main card which starts at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Showtime, with the prelims on Showtime Extreme starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
All quotes were obtained first-hand.
You can listen to the entire interview with Lorenz Larkin here.
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