SAN JOSE, Calif. – Francis Carmont wanted Lorenz Larkin on the canvas. Larkin didn’t want to be there.
But in the end, Larkin’s takedown defense wasn’t enough to get him a win in his UFC debut, as Carmont took a unanimous decision with a trio of 29-28 scores.
The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 7 event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. It aired on FX following additional prelims on Facebook and ahead of a main card on FOX.
Carmont tried to come over the top with a left hand early in the first, but it was blocked. He then started working kicks to Larkin’s body and tried a front kick that just missed. Larkin tried to pepper in some leg kicks, but Carmont’s counter kicks were bigger. Two minutes in, Carmont shot for a takedown, but Larkin held on against the fence. Carmont kept going after that single-leg takedown, and at one point Larkin’s left leg was on top of Carmont’s shoulder – but still he managed to stay on his feet.
That would become the theme of the fight – Carmont trying to go to the ground, and Larkin mostly able to defend with a few exceptions.
Carmont connected with an overhand right quickly in the second. But Larkin started working some of his best offense of the fight, using a spinning kick that landed several times to Carmont’s legs. Midway through the frame, after a Larkin uppercut glanced off its home, Carmont again tried to get the fight to the ground, but unsuccessfully. With 30 seconds left, after taking another couple Larkin leg kicks, Carmont finally got a takedown – but with no real time to do anything with it.
In the third, it was more of the same from Carmont as he went after yet another takedown. Unable to get it early, Carmont clinched with Larkin until they finally separated. But back in the center, it wasn’t long before Carmont went back after it and finally got a solid trip in the middle of the cage. While Larkin went after an arm-triangle choke, Carmont passed to half guard.
Larkin worked for a kimura from his back and managed to use that to roll out and back to his feet for the last minute of the fight, having not taken much – if any – damage from Carmont while on his back. But Larkin wasn’t able to do anything big late and went down to the unanimous nod going Carmont’s way.
“He’s a tough guy and he’s hard to push around,” Carmont said. “He’s a great fighter. He didn’t hurt me at all and he didn’t take me down easily. I’m just happy to win the fight.”
“I fought my heart out,” Larkin said. “He tested me to the fullest. Out of all my fights, I learned the most from this one. I also think it was my best fight technical-wise, even though it didn’t go my way. I’ll work harder and be back soon.”
Carmont (21-7 MMA, 5-0 UFC) stayed unbeaten in the UFC and won for the 10th straight time. Larkin (13-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) lost for the first time in his professional career, not counting a no contest against Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in January 2012.
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