Lorenz Larkin is the perfect example of the saying, “you are only as good as your last fight.” In his case, that’s a good thing. Since 2013, he has only won two of six fights, but in his last outing, he turned things around in a big way. That fight was against John “Doomsday” Howard and Larkin finished him in the first round. It was Larkin’s first fight in the welterweight division with the UFC, and it seems like he has found a new home.

Now, in his second fight in the UFC’s welterweight division, he is up against the Argentinean, Santiago Ponzinibbio. Santiago actually has more fights than Larkin, but he hasn’t competed on the same level. While Larkin was building his name in Strikeforce by beating names such as Robbie Lawler, Ponzinibbio was fighting in organizations that you most likely have never heard of. Even still, Ponzinibbio has a 2-1 record since joining the UFC.

This fight is a cross roads fight for both men. Ponzinibbio is going to be looking to use Larkin’s name to elevate his stock in the division. Larkin could be fighting for more though. It wouldn’t be shocking if Larkin where to get cut if he lost to Ponzinibbio, and that has to be in the back of his mind. Larkin does possess the tools to have his hand raised on Saturday night. Here are his keys to victory.

Movement & Technique 

When the UFC liquidated the Strikeforce talent into their roster, Larkin was expected to do big things. Until his last fight, it didn’t really look that that was a reality. One of the big factors in his win against John Howard was his ability to move in and out of the pocket and avoid the big shots. Ponzinibbio enjoys standing in the phone booth and trading shots and it usually serves him well. Larkin has to avoid the close range back and forth trading sessions with Ponzinibbio if he intends on having his hand raised. He has the ability to do it, he just has to stick to the game plan.

Take Down Defense

While Larkin has never been submitted, his greatest chance at winning this fight is on his feet. Ponzinibbio isn’t known as being an elite level Jiu-Jitsu player, but he is still the better man on the ground. Ponzinibbio has collected five victories over the course of his career by submission and he could certainly submit Larkin if Larkin doesn’t respect the ground.

Close the Deal 

During Larkin’s last fight, he won dominantly, but he wasn’t dominant until the very end of the fight. He was calm and scoring points when he could against Howard, while making sure not to take damage. When he Howard’s lights flicker, his killer instinct took over and he finished Howard in short order. If he gets the opportunity, he must capitalize on it against Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio’s style is exciting and aggressive for a reason, he has a good chin. He’s only been knocked out once, but Larkin has the power and technique to rock anyone. It’s what he does from there that could earn him the victory. As always, you don’t want to go to the judges, especially in Brazil. If Larkin wants to win, he is going to have to go take it by removing Ponzinibbio’s consciousness.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.