Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker surprised many when it was announced that Lorenz Larkin – and not Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza – would be the next challenger to Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
Larkin and Rockhold will be part of the November Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir card that takes place in Oklahoma City. The main card will air live on Showtime.
Larkin (13-0) has an undefeated record, as a previous loss to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal was changed to a no-contest due to a failed drug test. Coker explained why he ranks Larkin so high in an interview with MMAjunkie.com recently.
“I feel really good about this fight because Lorenzo, to me honestly, is probably the most dangerous striker in MMA right now,” Coker said. “He reminds me of a K-1 fighter back in the day with just tremendous kicking ability, good movement, great boxing skills. The guy took it to Robbie (Lawler) pretty good, and that’s really what got him the shot with Luke.”
After moving down from light heavyweight, Larkin defeated Lawler earlier this year. Rockhold (10-1) has defended his title twice since defeating Souza for it, topping Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy.