After losing his promotional debut to Douglas Lima at Bellator NYC, Lorenz Larkin will return to the cage in September and hope for a change in fortune against fellow veteran Paul Daley at Bellator 183.
The welterweight clash was exclusively revealed by The Telegraph yesterday and has been added to a card already packed with UFC alumni. Taking place on September 23 inside the SAP Centre in San Jose, California, Bellator 183 will feature a lightweight headline bout that sees former UFC and WEC champion Benson Henderson taking on Bellator veteran Patricky Pitbull. Also on the card is the promotional debut of heavyweight Roy Nelson who will face Javy Ayala.
In what should be an exciting stand-up battle between two dangerous strikers, Daley and Larkin will both look to get their welterweight title aspirations back on track. The Brit has now lost two of his last three fights, losing to Rory MacDonald by submission at Bellator London back in May and previously falling short in his title challenge against champion Lima at Bellator 158. Larkin, meanwhile, had won four of his last five prior to his UFC exit and unsuccessful Bellator debut.
After the announcement, Daley, who is no stranger to controversy, was quick to rubbish his more decorated opponent’s chances and claimed “The Monsoon” didn’t give his all against champion Lima.
“Larkin is overrated. I think that I gave Douglas Lima more of a fight when we fought, I brought it to him 100%. I don’t feel like Larkin did that,” said Daley.
“Not to mention, I don’t think Lima feared Larkin, and as a result, he underperformed. I think even Rory [MacDonald] feared me standing up, granted he has the superior ground skills, but he feared a stand-up exchange with me. Let’s see what Larkin does in San Jose.”
Larkin, however, chose to focus less on his opponent and more on what a win in this bout could mean for his own title aspirations after his initial setback on joining Bellator.
“From the get-go with Scott [Coker], I made it clear that I want to stay active and get right back in there following my fights. After Bellator NYC I got a call and I was chomping at the bit to take another high-level, competitive fight and right now, Paul [Daley] is that guy,” expressed the former Strikeforce star.
“How it is in the division right now, you have your top guys and the guys who are trying to get where Paul and I already are. I just fought for the title, and Daley fought the guy who is going to fight for the belt next, so I think this fight clearly positions the winner to be next in line.”
As both fighters continue to float around the top end of the 170lb rankings, a win in this clash would see either fighter move a step closer to another shot at the champion. Who that will be, however, is uncertain as “Red King” MacDonald will challenge current champion Lima in the coming months.