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Bellator 183's Lorenz Larkin despises Paul Daley: 'I've never not liked somebody like this guy'


In an era of MMA where it’s difficult to separate the real beefs from the manufactured ones, Lorenz Larkin’s negative feelings toward Paul Daley comes off as genuine.

How genuine?

So genuine that Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) is hardly willing to address Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA), who he meets in the Bellator 183 co-main event, ahead of their welterweight fight on Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The card airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

During a Bellator 183 pre-fight interview with MMAjunkie, Daley’s name naturally was mentioned to Larkin. Immediately a Bellator PR member noted “The Monsoon” was not going to discuss his upcoming opponent because of some comments Daley had made, specifically ones downplaying Larkin as “below the level of fighter” the Brit is used to facing.

When pushed on the matter, Larkin gave a little bit of insight, but not much. His answer, though, made it obvious he took Daley’s comments personally.

“I just don’t like the mother(expletive), man,” Larkin told MMAjunkie. “I don’t. I’ve never not liked somebody like this guy. I’ve never had a problem in my whole career with a fighter. This is a fighter that I genuinely don’t like. That’s the whole reason for all of this.”

Larkin, No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, and Daley have been competing in similar circles for many years. Both were fighting under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner before the organization closed its doors in 2013, albeit at the time Larkin was competing at light heavyweight and middleweight while Daley was in the 170-pound division.

According to Larkin, he had no problem with Daley until he started “talking (expletive)” after the matchup was booked. Personal feelings aside, he said he believes Daley is a great fight for him, mainly because there are more weapons at his disposal.

“I just plan on going in there and taking care of business,” Larkin said. “I’m a good style matchup for everybody – this whole division. I’m coming in there like I always do, to fight. He comes in there, and he’s pretty much one-dimensional.”

Larkin knows how meaningful a victory at Bellator 183 would be for his career. Not only because he wants to get one over on Daley, but also due to the fact he needs to rebound from a title-fight loss to champ Douglas Lima at Bellator NYC in June.

After a successful run in the UFC and a lengthy period in free agency, Larkin was inserted into a championship contest in his Bellator debut. He came up short via unanimous decision, but Larkin said the result didn’t discourage him. He wants to get back to another title fight soon, and he plans on using Daley as a pedestal to help get there.

“That’s the goal,” Larkin said. “I got nothing but respect for Lima. I’m going to do all the right things to get me back (to the title). This is just a part of it. This is phase one of getting back there and getting right back to that spot.”

For more on Bellator 183, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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