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Wednesday, 01/15/2014, 06:37 am

UFC Fight Night 35: Tavares vs. Larkin Preview

 

Get ready for a throw down when former Strikeforce contender Lorenz Larkin (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Brad Tavares (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) meet this tonight  at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA for UFC Fight Night 35. The bout is set as the co-main event of the evening. UFC Fight Night 35 is going to be aired live on FOX Sports 1 with the preliminary fights airing on the new ‘UFC Fight Pass’.

Larkin is coming off of a recent victory over Chris Camozzi at UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3, giving Larkin his first win under the Zuffa banner. Larkin’s UFC debut was snuffed by Francis Carmont who handed Larkin the first loss of his MMA career via unanimous decision.

Brad Tavares is currently on a four fight winning streak as he approaches his fight with Larkin. And although this sounds like an impressive statistic it’s Tavares’ inability to finish his opponent in all four of his recent victories that has hindered the fighter. He has also been pitted up against what could be considered lack luster competition, but Larkin should be just the thing to fix that.

Larkin has some rather respectable victories under his belt. He defeated UFC Welterweight title runner Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision back in 2012 during their days in Strikeforce and of coarse his victory over Chris Camozzi at UFC Fight Night 31. Larkin has eight knockout victories under his belt throughout the course of his professional MMA career, and though Tavares has been getting slack for not finishing his opponents at least he’s never been finished himself. Which could prove to be a difficulty for Larkin, but its damn sure not going to stop him from giving it his best shot.

The question lingering now, if the fight does go to the ground will Larkin be able to hang? We rarely see Larkin on the ground, and Larkin has never submitted a single opponent. However, Tavares is well versed on the ground and has two submission victories under his belt. It won’t be easy by any means to get Larkin down, but it most likely is a wiser plan than banging it out. Although, Tavares has been able to out point his last four opponents the same can most definitely not be said for Larkin. Tavares’ best option is to keep his eyes open for Larkin to slip up and give him the opening for the takedown.

There is a lot at stake for Larkin, who has a great opportunity to gain some attention if he is able to snap Tavares’ winning streak. What’s in question however, is whether Larkin can hang with the better rounded fighters in the game. This is Larkin’s opportunity to show that he belongs in the UFC with the big dogs, and a win over Tavares could very possibly raise Larkin into the light enough to climb the ladder.

The Middleweight in the division is absolutely stacked. With both the main and co-main events featuring bouts from the division it is a big night for all four fighters. Does Larkin have what it takes to derail Tavares from his victory streak, or will he be outclassed yet again by a superior fighter? Will Tavares have the skills to avoid being knocked out and secure the victory over a very dangerous opponent?

It’s a night sure to action packed! Tune into UFC Fight Night 35 set to air live on FOX Sports 1 with prelims on the newly introduced ‘UFC Fight Pass’.

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