In the final prelim of UFC 177, Derek Brunson (11-3) meets Lorenz Larkin (14-3) in a battle of middleweights in desperate need of a win.
The All-American wrestler, Brunson had his 2-fight win streak snapped against top 10 fighter, Yoel Romero in his last fight, but had a strong start to his UFC career coming from Strikeforce–defeating Chris Leben and Brian Houston.
Larkin came over to the UFC as an undefeated Strikeforce alum, but has lost back-to-back fights and 3 of his 4 fights in the UFC. But against top 15 middleweights in Francis Carmont, Brad Tavares, and Costas Philippou. ‘The Monsoon’ is in desperate need of a win against Brunson.
A classic match up of grappler vs. striker, it was the grappler, Brunson that prevailed over the striker, Larkin.
Lorenz light on his feet to begin round 1, bouncing around the cage. Brunson able to get a hold of the smaller Larkin in the clinch, but Larkin escapes. Larkins lands a big kick to the body, continues to push forward with a combination, forcing Brunson to back up. Brunson has a burst of speed and goes the length of the octagon to get a hold of Larkin, who is able to defend the trip. Brunson grabs onto the neck of Larkin and has a deep guillotine, forcing Larkin to go to the ground and Brunson lets go of the choke.
Brunson on top landing ground and pound, takes Larkin’s back and back to top position in half guard. Brunson remains on top in Larkin’s guard to end the first round.
Larkin trying to land that big hook, but missing on the big swings in round 2. Larkin defends a takedown attempt, and lands a kick to the body of Brunson. Larkin starting to get comfortable on his feet, only to be taken down by Brunson with a timed trip. Larkin scoots over to the cage to attempt a wall walk, Brunson goes for his back, which allows Larkin to stand back up. A second trip takedown by Brunson gets Larkin down and ends the round on top once again.
Larkin’s corner tells him in between rounds that he’s down two rounds, going into the third. Larkin is having success landing that body kick, defends Brunson’s takedown the first time, but the second attempt, he does not. Brunson in half-guard, attentively listening to coach Greg Jackson in his corner. Larkin virtually shut down for the rest of the fight on his back. With ten seconds left in the fight, Larkin goes into desperation mode on his feet, but Brunson is well aware and avoids the strikes.
Derek Brunson earns the judge’s decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 over Lorenz Larkin.
Main card (10 P.M. EST, PPV)
- UFC Bantamweight Title: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Joe Soto
- Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
- Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
- Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
- Yancy Medeiros vs. Damon Jackson
Preliminary Card (8 P.M. EST, FOX Sports 1)
- Derek Brunson def. Lorenz Larkin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Anthony Hamilton def. Ruan Potts via TKO (body punches)–Round 2, 4:17
- Chris Wade def. Cain Carrizosa via Submission (guillotine choke)–Round 1, 1:12