Hottest Free Agent on the MMA Market, Lorenz Larkin opens up

Lorenz Larkin: Whoever gets me is going to get an exciting-ass fighter

Lorenz Larkin: Whoever gets me is going to get an exciting-ass fighter

Free Agent Lorenz Larkin hopes to have the next step in his career finalized this week.

A couple of weeks ago, welterweight contender Lorenz Larkin ended his three months of exclusivity with the UFC as far as his free agency status goes. The question remains, where will “Da Monsoon” end up?

Lorenz Larkin
Lorenz Larkin – Photo courtesy of UFC

Larkin (18-5, 1 NC, 5-4 UFC) ended his latest UFC contract producing a fireworks display against streaking contender Neil Magny in the Featured UFC Fight Pass Prelim fight at UFC 202. Since the highly touted performance to crack the Top 10 in the UFC’s Welterweight Division, Larkin has watched the three months tick away as he, along with his management, can now talk the next step of his career with any organization interested in his services. For someone who has never been in this position before, Larkin seems very calm, cool and collected with the process.

“I’ve been keeping my mind pretty free,” Larkin told the SFLC Podcast. “I haven’t really been going too stir crazy.”

Listen to the entire interview along with Weight Management Specialist to Anthony Pettis, Lou Giordano below:

After a slow start to his UFC career, Larkin dropped down to Welterweight compiling a record of 4-1, with the one loss being a very questionable split decision to Albert Tumenov in January at UFC 195. He bounced back with a split decision win of his own back in May over Jorge Masvidal, and then the biggest win of his career over Magny back in August.

Bellator Bound?

With a fighter as exciting as Larkin, interest has been expressed in his services from multiple organizations, including Bellator MMA. Larkin has a relationship with Scott Coker and Rich Chou from his days fighting under the Strikeforce banner. While attending Bellator 163 last month at Mohegan Sun, Larkin got to experience the Bellator product in person.  As impressed as he was with the production value that Bellator presents, Larkin has always been impressed with Coker’s business acumen.

“Scott Coker is a good promoter,” Larkin said. “He’s turned around everything he’s pretty much touched. His track record speaks for itself. I’ve never had an issue with Scott. I got nothing but good stuff to say about him.”

With Bellator, Larkin feels like his options are a plenty, combining MMA, Kickboxing, and potential other avenues of success in the organization. Another organization that has interest is the up and coming Rizin FF. The international feel of Rizin presents a different kind of challenge, outside of fighting itself.

“Yeah, I’m kinda getting over my fear for planes, slowly but surely,” Larkin said. “I’m interested to see what they’re talking about. It’s kinda crazy that they’re even interested, I didn’t know that I’m on their radar.”

Promote Me

While dollars and cents are always very important to fighters, Lorenz Larkin looks beyond getting in a ring or a cage to give fans their money’s worth. Larkin’s main concern, regardless of who he signs with, is to sign with a promotion who believes in him, and that will, well, promote him.

Lorenz Larkin vs. Neil Magny - Photo courtesy of FanSide
Lorenz Larkin vs. Neil Magny – Photo courtesy of FanSide

“That was the whole point of me doing this, was to get all of these things out and get what I want,” Larkin said. Before we even ink a deal, that’s something that has to be brought to the table and talked about. ”

“The thing is, a lot of people have these outlooks like fighters just become this big entity by themselves, which to me is not nowhere near as true,” Larkin continued. “If a fighter doesn’t have a promotion backing them and putting them on platforms to display their character, the normal fan will never even notice them other than when they fight, that’s it. It’s all about if the promotion is behind you and they’re gonna do stuff to promote you, and then with that, plus your character and your fighting, that’s what builds a draw.

“The crazy thing is, when I talk about this stuff, people think I’m hating.  Even with Conor, he’s not this guy that just built this draw from the get-go. He’s coming from a country, and he was big in his country cause he was good, and he was a local guy that created a little buzz around him in Ireland. When he came over to the UFC, the UFC promoted him the right way and had him on these platforms where he could talk and do all this stuff, and to create teh name that he has now. But if they put him on the backburner before he got to where he was at, nobody would be talking about him like that. It’s all about the promotion. The promotion promotes the people that they want to have this character. It’s not just all about the fighter. The fighter cannot make himself this big entity without a promotion. Period.”

Options Open

Larkin wants to keep his options open, whether signing the standard 4 or 8 fight deal. He sees the positives in both, as long as he receives promotional backing, is able to do appearances, and work the way he would like to.

“To me, looking at it from a business aspect, I like the short deals,” Larkin said.  “But if there was something lucrative to me that makes sense, that guarantees me a certain amount of fights per year, then that’s something worth looking at too. It all has to make sense. I’m at the point where things have to make sense now, I’m not trying to sign no dumb-ass deal.”

Larkin is looking to have his next fight in early 2017, whether it be with Bellator, Rizin, or the UFC, who is also interested in re-signing him. The fans have made it known to him on social media, and other outlets, where they would like to see him fight next.

“(Laughing)There’s a lot of UFC fans,” Larkin said. “There’s a lot of people telling me don’t leave, and I’m like…if you got so much stake in the company, well, get this show on the road!”

Larkin is hoping to have his decision made and put pen to paper sometime this week. Who he will sign with? That’s a question that one of the world’s most exciting welterweights doesn’t have the answer to quite yet.

“Truthfully, I just need to get the deals on the table, and then I can really place my head what I’m looking at,” Larkin said. “At the end of the day when the deal comes to the table, it can be totally opposite of what I’m thinking, and that can not go through. Right now, truthfully, I don’t know…I don’t know what to look at.”

Final Thoughts

Lorenz Larkin’s final message to MMA Promotions and their fans worldwide as his free agency could come to it’s conclusion?

“Whoever gets me is going to get an exiting-ass fighter,” Larkin said. “I’m not gonna be cocky, but at the end of the day, every fight, I bring it. I don’t have no lackluster fights. I don’t know man, I’m just a working man! I wanna work. How else can I explain it? I wanna work, I don’t wanna sit on the couch. I wanna work, period.”

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