Image via Esther Lin for Showtime Sports
Lorenz Larkin made a successful debut in the middleweight division, taking a unanimous decision over Robbie Lawler in an entertaining opening main card bout at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy. Larkin got tagged early, but came back to control the striking and bloody Lawler late. He almost finished a submission in the second round as well.
Lawler landed a big right hook early in the first that wobbled Larkin . Larkin clinched up and was able to recover. Larkin hit a trip takedown and unloaded with punches and elbows on the ground. Lawler scrambled back up and they clinched against the cage for a while. Larkin landed two solid hooks and a flying knee, but Lawler covered up well. Larkin landed a nice uppercut. He controlled Lawler's head with a pseudo-thai clinch and landed a barrage of shots.
Larkin got off to a good start in the second, controlling most of the striking for the first two minutes. Lawler tied him up against the cage and landed an elbow. Lawler looked for a takedown but Larkin locked up a guillotine. Lawler was able to flop all over the place until he escaped. After an extended clinch battle, Larkin threw a head kick that opened a cut on Lawler's dome when his knee connected. That closed out the round.
Lawler looked more determined early in the final round and landed some strikes. He pushed Larkin back and looked for a takedown. It wasn't there, but Lawler came up with a big left hook. Both fighters engaged in the middle of the cage for the rest of the, with each getting some shots in but no one taking the advantage. Larkin landed some big elbows to close it out.