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Bellator 180: Douglas Lima vs Lorenz Larkin Will Be A Striker’s Delight

Perhaps my most anticipated fight on this card, Douglas Lima versus Lorenz Larkin is a truly wonderful match up between two strikers with very different styles. We have the bare bones approach of Douglas Lima against the flashier yet effective strikes of Lorenz Larkin. While there are many other intriguing fights on this card, this could easily be the main event.

In Douglas Lima’s most recent outing he scored a come from behind victory against former Bellator welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov. After a competitive first frame, Lima found himself on his back in the second round, yet he obviously never lost hope. Against Koreshkov we saw improvement in his ground game in order to get back to his feet in the first round, but seemed content to lay on his back in the second. Nevertheless, it was Lima’s game changing weapon that ultimately won him the belt, the left hook.

But like every season striker should understand, setting up your Sunday punch should be done in strategic fashion. First off, Lima should want to focus on utilizing his jab to both track the faster Larkin as well as set a pattern to fire off hard shots once he closes the distance. Lima should also look to use his second favorite weapon, the leg kick. His rear leg kick works wonders to punish the legs of an opponent and should do well here as Larkin is a fighter who tends to constantly be on his bicycle. To slow down Larkin’s movement this should be Lima’s main weapon. Once he slows down Larkin with kicks he should look to fire his left hook which could ruin Larkin’s debut in spectacular fashion. But the jab to the leg kick should be key.

In his first fight since leaving the UFC, Lorenz Larkin finds himself in an immediate title fight. It could be alarming to some, but when you consider the fact that Larkin was on a hot streak in the UFC, coupled with the fact that he’s an exciting striker, it’s easy to see why the Bellator execs pushed for this fight. Larkin fights in an extremely interesting and unexpected manner. You wouldn’t call his striking Muay Thai nor could you call it karate or kickboxing. He strikes with a flair all his own.

While already mapping out that Lima should use his jab and leg kick to win the day, Lorenz Larkin should be taking a somewhat similar approach. The only difference is that he has more tools to work with. He should utilize his low calf kick to the legs to set up his left hook right straight combination. But before unloading, he should use his well polish oblique kick and mix it in with his leg kick. The chamber he uses for both kicks are fairly similar and if utilized correctly will keep Lima guessing on what shot is coming next.

This will undoubtedly be one of the more exciting match ups of the night and will be an absolute strikers delight.

Who do you think walks away the Bellator welterweight champion?

Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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