Former UFC fighter Lorenz Larkin is preparing to challenge Bellator MMA Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima for the gold at Bellator 180.
Larkin is fighting for the first time since leaving the UFC and the fighter isn’t too happy with the way his old promotion is treating Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
“I’m pretty sure other fighters got that (treated like Johnson),” Larkin said to MMA Fighting. “With me, I never had a one-on-one with UFC as far as talking to them and things like about my career or contract or anything like that. He wouldn’t lie. It would be a dumb decision to make some stuff up like that so I’m pretty sure there’s truth to that story. It’s the same thing (free agency) with Demetrious. He knows he’s valuable, you know what I mean? It sucks, because he’s my favorite fighter. In MMA right now, he is my favorite fighter. To me he is the most, pound-for-pound, best fighter out there. And he doesn’t get paid like it. It didn’t surprise me when he didn’t get pay-per-view points. It’s ridiculous.”
When it comes to his relationship with Bellator MMA CEO Scott Coker, the former UFC fighter says it is different than the relationship he had with the UFC brass.
“It’s a complete 180,” Larkin said. “I have a one-on-one with [Bellator CEO] Scott [Coker], he calls me if he needs anything or vice versa. Its just a complete 180. I’m pretty sure in this fight, I got marketed more than in my whole career. And it’s disheartening to say that, but it’s true. I’ve never seen so much of me out there.”
Bellator 180 takes place on Saturday, June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast coming the next day.