The clock is ticking for Jeremy Larsen when he steps into the cage against Lucas Martins at Saturday’s UFC on FX 8 event, and not just to pass the rounds.
Larsen’s wife is nine months pregnant with their second daughter, and she could go into labor while he’s throwing punches.
“I need to get home ASAP so she does not have my daughter while I’m away,” Larsen told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Of course, Larsen knew this situation could arise when he accepted the fight. But after his first brushes with the UFC, the opportunity to get back into the octagon was one he couldn’t pass up.
This past year, he auditioned for and won a spot on “The Ultimate Fighter 15? but was bounced from the tournament and then suffered a first-round TKO loss to Joe Proctor at the show’s finale.
Larsen (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) isn’t only putting his family life on hold, but also going into hostile territory. UFC on FX 8 is in the backyard of fellow lightweight Martins (12-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), whose hometown is about a two-hour flight from the event’s location at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
If UFC President Dana White offers Larsen – a Phoenix native whose fight kicks off the event and streams on Facebook – a ride home on the promotion’s private jet, he won’t say no.
“But if I’ve got to take the flight they booked, I’m OK with that too,” Larsen said.
It’s taken Larsen quite a bit of time to track down footage on his opponent, who’s fought just once in the UFC, a first-round TKO loss to Edson Barboza.
“I was able to find what reporters wrote about the fights that were there,” Larsen said. “So I don’t know a ton more than I saw against Barboza, but I know how octagon jitters go your first fight, so I’m anticipating that was the worst Lucas Martins and the best one is going to show up Saturday to fight me.”
And on the flip side, Larsen doesn’t have a lot of footage available for Martins to study.
“I believe it’s pretty hard to find footage on me other than the little bit from ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’” he said. “I don’t like to put mine up because it’s just extra footage to see what I’m about and what I bring.”
So there could be plenty of surprises for Larsen – before and after the fight. He’s just hoping he’s there for both.
For the latest on UFC on FX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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