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Truly at home at 170 pounds, Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin made it two for two at welterweight Saturday, stopping tough Santiago Ponzinibbio in the UFC Fight Night co-main event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
It was a dazzling effort for Larkin, whose first welterweight win was a knockout of John Howard in January.
“He brought it, I had to bring it," Larkin said. "It was an exciting fight for the fans. I'm a fighter, and I love to do this."
Ponzinibbio was the aggressor in the first round, but Larkin appeared to have the edge in speed and power, and while his potshots upstairs were effective, it was a barrage of leg kicks that were doing the most damage.
Offensively and defensively, Larkin looked sharper than ever, and he began picking up the pace in the second round. Pinzinibbio refused to be deterred though, and he landed his share of hard right hands. Larkin’s attack was just too much though, and midway through the round, a combination of flush shots sent Ponzinibbio to the canvas. The Argentina native struggled to his feet, but after taking more hard shots, referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight at 3:07 of round two.
With the win, Riverside, California’s Larkin moves to 16-4 with 1 NC; Ponzinibbio falls to 21-3.
CARLOS JUNIOR vs. GORDON
The third weight class may be the charm for TUF Brazil 3 winner Antonio Carlos Junior, as the former heavyweight and light heavyweight made his move to 185 pounds a successful one with a third-round submission win over TUF 19 winner Eddie Gordon.
Carlos (6-1) opened up the significant scoring in the second minute with a takedown. Gordon got up quickly, but caught a few hard knees to the body for his trouble. The New Yorker showed some good takedown defense for a while, but by the end of the frame, it was Gordon on the mat again, taking hard shots from the Brazilian.
Confident with his first-round showing, Carlos stalked Gordon in the second, landing hard kicks and stiff jabs, while Gordon was finding it difficult to close the distance. With less than two minutes left, Carlos scored with another takedown and let the punches fly, finishing the round with a bang.
Gordon (8-4) tried swinging for the fences as the third opened, but his haymakers came up short, leading to a grappling session against the fence before Carlos took the bout back to the mat. This time, Carlos took his opponent’s back and worked for a rear naked choke. Gordon was game in his attempts to stay in the fight, but the former TUF Brazil winner finally sunk in the choke and produced a tap at the 4:37 mark.
SANTOS vs. BOSSE
Brazilian banger Thiago “Marreta” Santos lived up to his knockout reputation in middleweight action, finishing Octagon newcomer Steve Bosse in devastating fashion early in the first round.
Santos threw a couple range-finding kicks to open the fight, and then came the finisher, a flush left kick to the head that landed flush. Bosse was out before he hit the mat, referee James Warring immediately stepping in to stop the fight at the 29 second mark as Santos walked off, knowing another blow wasn’t necessary.
“I worked really hard and trained hard,” Santos said. “I spent a lot of time away from my family and I’m very happy with this win. I saw that he dropped his guard and knew he was going to do it again, so I kicked him in the head and it worked.”
With the win, Rio de Janeiro’s Santos improves to 11-3; Quebec’s Bosse falls to 10-2.
DIAS vs. MAKASHVILI
Number 14-ranked featherweight Hacran Dias picked up the victory in the main card opener, taking a three-round split decision over Lavan Makashvili.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Dias, now 23-3-1; Makashvili falls to 10-2.
The featherweights kept a fast pace in the first round, but there was little significant scoring by either outside of a late takedown by Dias that may have earned him the round.
Dias put his ground game to work early in the second, nearly submitting Makashvili early before the Georgian broke loose. Yet just when he saw daylight, Makashvili jumped right into a triangle choke. He was able to slam his way out of trouble, landing in his foe’s guard. Midway through the round, the two rose, but Dias scored a takedown for a second time. After getting back up again, the two separated, but another Dias trip to the mat likely sealed the frame for him.
The third was devoid of compelling action and the fans let the fighters know it, but Makashvili’s swarming grappling attack and a late takedown served him well. It ultimately wasn’t enough to turn the fight around for him though.