Criticism is hard to take, even for professional MMA fighters who, one could argue, are some of the toughest people on the planet. Fighters’ nonchalance towards cyber bullies trolling online is largely due to a numbness that is acquired over the years. That being said, it truly is baffling how little these fighters respond, considering the subject matter of what is sometimes said to them on Twitter.

There was a time before UFC middleweight Lorenz Larkin had built that hard outer shell. Larkin, who admits he still goes on MMA forums from time to time, reminisced about an incident where he actually responded to a user.

Larkin (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Larkin (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

“I think one time in my career I was looking at things about my fight,” said Larkin to The MMA Corner. There was one comment that sent him over the edge, and without even thinking about it, Larkin responded online.

“I messed up and got on it, and typed, ‘Man, what are you talking about I was doing this,’ and they were like, ‘You were doing what? Who are you?’”

Larkin revealed himself. Unsurprisingly, there was a fair amount of surprise from everyone on the forum.

“It just got crazy out of hand,” he said. “Now, I’ll just look at it, but I won’t post anymore.”

Although that incident is now a comical memory for the 27-year-old Larkin, he was very critical himself about his last performance, a unanimous decision loss against Brad Tavares.

“I think the big thing just was me waiting, not pulling the trigger,” admitted Larkin. “It wasn’t like I was taking damage. I looked fine after the fight. I was just waiting way too long to do something.

“I was looking for the perfect shot, trying to make him do a mistake and then catch him. I was counter-fighting instead of going in there and being aggressive and making my shots happen.”

Although it marked only Larkin’s second loss of his career, the Californian is adamant about the fact that he is looking to stop his next opponent, Costas Philippou, on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 40. Larkin will once again be competing in the co-headlining bout, and he understands that this is his opportunity to show fans what he’s all about.

“I just want to finish him and show them that’s where I belong, and show everyone that I can perform at higher levels like this. That’s the main focus,” said Larkin.

Larkin is confident that his unorthodox style will match up well with Philippou.

“We both like to strike and we’re both dynamic,” explained Larkin. “I’m just ready to get in there and adapt. He has a more traditional style of boxing, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to adapt. I will be, the more the fight goes on. I’m not going to stay real basic with him.

In Philippou’s last outing, Luke Rockhold finished him quickly in the first round by a nasty body kick to the liver. Larkin, who was impressed by Rockhold’s performance, still didn’t see that as a glaring weakness in his future opponent’s game.

Larkin (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Larkin (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

“Luke caught him with a flush liver kick,” said Larkin. “No matter how tough you are or how big you are, if you get hit with a liver shot your body just shuts down. You have no control of it. It’s not like the wind taken out of you. There’s a lot of guys that can fight through that, but liver is totally different. Your body just shuts down.”

Larkin did acknowledge that he and his team have noticed a few tendencies Philippou consistently displays. Larkin will be look to capitalize on his opponent’s mistakes. However, he is also very respectful of his opponent, and he understands the power that Philippou possesses. Besides an earlier dispute with Rockhold back in the Strikeforce days, Larkin does not typically like to speak poorly of his opponents if there is mutual respect.

He did, however, have some words to say about middleweight contender Vitor Belfort. Larkin admitted that he did not think Belfort was deserving of the title shot, even though when the Brazilian was undergoing testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) when it was legal in the sport.

“I think it’s cheating all the way around,” said Larkin. “There’s no way somebody can tell me it’s not. A doctor has control of your testosterone levels, and if a doctor’s good at it, he can boost you up to however many in camp and then trinkle you down for where you’re supposed to be for the fight.”

Larkin, like many others who were not fans of fighters getting a pass on TRT, was quick to point out the hypocrisy of the loophole that allowed fighters to legally use growth hormones while competing.

“They said that if you needed to smoke weed because you got headaches or whatever, then you don’t need to be fighting,” said Larkin. “So same thing—if you need to raise your TRT levels, you shouldn’t be fighting. Maybe it’s time to hang ‘em up.

“The Vitor that was on TRT would have destroyed Jon Jones, but I don’t feel he was on TRT like that in Vegas when he fought Jones or Anderson. That Vitor compared to Brazil fighting Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold [and Michael] Bisping—when have you ever seen anybody do something like that to Henderson? It’s crazy.”

If Larkin gets by Philippou in impressive fashion, it would certainly be interesting to see who he wants to fight next. Although the pairing is highly unlikely, maybe the usual business protocol of not talking smack would be pardoned for a bit if he was to be matched up against Belfort.

Lorenz would like to thank Affliction, Venum, Ion, Millennia MMA, everyone in Riverside, Calif., and all of his fans. Follow Larkin on Twitter: @da _MONSOON

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.