UFC on Fox 7 has a decidedly Strikeforce vs. UFC flavor to it. The event will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Ben Henderson and will feature scraps between Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir and also Josh Thomson and Nate Diaz.
And, according to the UFC Canada Twitter account, the card will also play host to a middleweight scrap between former Strikeforce star Lorenz Larkin and burgeoning UFC fighter Francis Carmont.
UFC Canada @UFC_CA
With 9 straight wins, MTL's @franciscarmont will now face undefeated @da_MONSOON in his UFC debut on April 20 in San Jose at #UFConFOX7.2/9/2013, 2:46:06 AM
Larkin will enter the bout with his undefeated record intact, coming off an impressive unanimous-decision victory over Robbie Lawler in his middleweight debut.
Prior to testing the waters at 185, "The Monsoon" had compiled a 3-0 Strikeforce record at light heavyweight. His last fight at 205 was a loss to Muhammed Lawal that was turned into a no-contest when Lawal failed his post-fight drug test.
Carmont has posted a 4-0 record since joining the UFC in Oct. 2011, establishing himself as a promising future contender. Carmont's last bout, a controversial split-decision win over Tom Lawlor, quelled some of the hype he had previously amassed, so expect the Parisian to be looking for a statement win in San Jose.
The pairing of Larkin and Carmont is an intriguing one, as the victor will take the next step toward the division's upper echelon. Certainly, there is no title shot hanging in the balance, but there is significant upward mobility at stake.
The bout is also interesting from a stylistic point of view. There is little doubt Larkin will try to maximize the amount of time the opponent is on his feet, while Carmont will have a clear edge on the mat.
It's another solid addition to a promising April fight card. Let's just hope it's not one that gets torn asunder by the infamous MMA injury bug.