Lorenz Larkin learned something about Mukhamed Berkhamov in first meeting

LOS ANGELES – Lorenz Larkin is no stranger to his Saturday opponent – and has enough insight to think he found an edge.

Larkin (24-7 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) takes on Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) in a welterweight bout at Bellator 290. It’s a rebooked bout after their first meeting at Bellator 283 ended in a no contest.

In that fight, Larkin hit Berkhamov with an illegal elbow to the back of Berkhamov’s head, and he couldn’t continue a little less than three minutes into the fight.

Larkin has thought for months that Berkhamov took the easy way out – particularly when he said he heard him talking about a hurt knee backstage, not his head.

And that presumption is helping guide him into the rematch.

“I think as a fighter, we’re always trying to find that chink in the armor,” Larkin told MMA Junkie at Thursday’s media day. “I think for that fight, it gave me a big insight to what that fighter is. That type of stuff drives me.”

Larkin said being upset at the outcome of the first fight has nothing to do with thinking his elbow shouldn’t have been called.

Instead, he thinks Berkhamov took an escape route when it was offered to him.

“It’s just disappointing,” Larkin said. “At the end of the day, however you call it, it was a foul. I knew it was a foul when I got to see the replay. I acknowledge that. But I’m also a vet and I’ve been in this game for a very long time. I know a fight-ending blow and a blow just to get you to stop reaching for something. That wasn’t a fight-ending blow. I’ll just kind of keep it at that.”

Taking the rematch was a no-brainer for Larkin, but not because he had unfinished business with Berkhamov. He does, of course, and is glad to settle it.

But he’d be glad to settle business with anyone – particularly if it keeps him active.

“This was brought to me and I said yes,” Larkin said. “I’m not the guy who goes out asking for fights. They always present me with the fights, and I always say yes. That’s how it’s always been.”

Bellator 290 takes place Saturday at Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on CBS following prelims on MMA Junkie.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 290.


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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie