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Mo Lawal: “I’m going to put pressure on (Lorenz Larkin), and you’re going to see him break.”

One of the most exciting prospects in Strikeforce is 12-0 light heavyweight Lorenz Larkin, a 25-year old four wins in the organization and an exciting, creative approach to stand-up reminiscent of Cung Le. However, his opponent this weekend at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine isn’t so sure there’s much substance to Larkin’s style.

Former 205-pound champion “King” Mo Lawal recently opened up on the topic of Larkin’s approach to striking where he not only questioned his techniques but expressed confidence in his own ability to keep things competitive even if the action remains upright.

“I think a lot of fans, a lot of people – especially MMA fans – they’re like, ‘That guy must have great standup because he’s doing spinning back heel kicks and stuff.’ (but ) just because he does spinning stuff and crane kicks doesn’t mean you have great standup,” explained Lawal to MMAJunkie before rhetorically asking, “It’s flashy, but how effective is it?”

“I think he’s flashy, and he likes to move around a lot. But really, if I want to strike with him, I can,” the 8-1 grappler continued. “I think his leg kicks and his knees – he has pretty good knees. (But if) he throws a leg kick, I’m going to check it. I can catch it. I’ll get him with the right hand. My reach is significantly longer too.”

Lawal also acknowledged he represents a major step up in competition for someone like Larkin who has only fought prospects up until this point in his career, and it’s a difference he expects to play out in front of the Vegas crowd.

“I think I’m going to be effective and solid from position. I’m going to put pressure on him, and you’re going to see him break,” Lawal predicted of his performance.

Fans can catch Lawal-Larkin on Showtime this weekend as part of a “free preview” weekend from the cable network airing Strikeforce’s first offering of 2012. The card also features Luke Rockhold defending his middleweight title against Keith Jardine as well as Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler in action.


MMATraining Take: I agree with Lawal 100%. Larkin’s style is fun to watch but not necessarily effective, especially against a grappler like “King Mo”. I expect a fairly one-sided fight to take place Saturday, though I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing “The Monsoon” make a real match out of it.

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