July 14, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Lorenz Larkin (black shorts) fights against Robbie Lawler at MMA Strikeforce at the Rose Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE
Strikeforce general manager Scott Coker made it pretty clear after the last SF event that Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza would likely be the next guy to face off with Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. So it was pretty surprising when Lorenz Larkin vs. Rockhold was announced for November 3rd in Oklahoma City instead. To justify the bout, Coker implied that Strikeforce matchmaker Sean Shelby wanted this fight instead, and made some bold claims about Larkin's skills (via MMA Junkie):
"If you look at Lorenz Larkin's record when he was fighting at 205, he had the one loss with 'King Mo,' who tested positive for that fight and it was ruled a no-contest, so he had an undefeated record," Coker said. "And he had such an impressive performance with Robbie. When we talked about it (after the fight), I hadn't had a chance to talk to Sean yet and see what his thoughts were.
"But I feel really good about this fight because Lorenz, to me honestly, is probably the most dangerous striker in MMA right now. 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 pretty good, and that's really what got him the shot with Luke. That's how it turned out."
Most dangerous striker in MMA? That's a bit much. I like the bout, but I still think that Jacare has done a lot more to earn a shot at regaining the title. Coker went onto say that Shelby is talking to Jacare's camp about his next bout. Could it be Roger Gracie? We should find out soon.