Lorenz Larkin is days away from the biggest fight of his MMA career. On Saturday, the Southern California fighter will take on Costas Philippou in the co-main event of the UFC Fight Night card in Cincinnati, OH. Larkin says that you never truly “get used to” the big lights, but he has learned how to deal with them quite well over the course of his Strikeforce and UFC career.
“The big difference between Strikeforce and the UFC is the crowd, really,” Larkin details.
“The UFC crowd is more lively and more into the event than the Strikeforce crowds were. There’s more people at the venue. If I could give any advice to new UFC fighters, it’s to try and prepare for everything that comes with that. The pressure doesn’t really come from the fight – we all know how to do that. It’s when the cameras are in your face and there are thousands of people in the crowd, shouting at you. It can jump your nerves.
“I don’t think anyone gets used to it, but I certainly know how to deal with it. I still get nervous when I fight but the more you fight the better you feel with it. You don’t get so crazy and jumpy.”
Both Larkin and Philippou are well-respected but are coming off losses. Certainly, then, each will feel extra pressure to pull out another UFC win. The calm Larkin says he’s been able to develop extends to his analysis of the matchup with Philippou.
“The Monsoon” is ready for an aggressive foe and plans to use technique and speed to counter. “Costas is a powerhouse,” Larkin allows.
“He’s got KO power. He comes out hard. We know that he likes to dig his toes in the mat and throw hard. So, you know, we’ve been working on all the things I can do to take advantage of that. I plan to get in there and implement what we’ve been working on in camp and not wait pull the trigger.”
Overall, Larkin believes that being quicker to the draw will be a large part of what will make him successful Saturday night. “I’ll say that my speed advantage [is the biggest difference between he and I],” he says.
“And, just my movement, cutting angles on him. If he makes a mistake, I’m going to make him pay for it.”