Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight strikers Lorenz Larkin and Albert Tumenov collided last night (Jan. 2, 2016) at UFC 195 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Since dropping to 170 pounds, Larkin has looked like an entirely different fighter. He finished both of his opponents prior to this bout in quick fashion, and Larkin was working towards a similar result here.
On the other hand, Tumenov has proved his violent efficacy in his last four fights, ripping through his opponents without much issue. Just 25 years old, Tumenov had an opportunity to prove himself a major player in the Welterweight division.
He did just that.
To watch Albert Tumenov vs. Lorenz Larkin full fight video highlights from last night click here.
Larkin opened the bout by looking for low kicks, but Tumenov was hunting for counters. When Larkin was allowed to land his low kicks, he was rather effective. However, Tumenov was throwing and landing some vicious combinations whenever he managed to close the distance.
At one point, Tumenov swarmed his opponent with an impressive and effective combo. Larkin kept his composure and returned to his low kick-heavy game plan, which was doing damage to the Russian's lead leg.
All in all, it was a fairly close round, as both men had their moments.
The damage to Tumenov's lead leg was becoming more apparent, as Tumenov's lead leg was starting to change colors. Larkin continued to press his advantage with the kicks, scoring both to the inside and outside.
At about the midway point in the round, the Russian did pick up some momentum with a series of nasty left hooks to the body. Despite barely being able to put weight on his lead leg, Tumenov really finished the round strong and scored with some heavy punches.
Heading into the third, it was anyone's fight.
Larkin returned to destroying his opponent's lead leg in the final frame, utilizing some spinning heel kicks to the thigh as well. Those did some serious damage, and Tumenov was in very real pain.
Tumenov may have been fighting on one leg, but he was actively looking to knock Larkin's head off. He may not have been able to put full power behind his shots, but he still landed some decent strikes.
Overall, Larkin definitely took the third round with his continued destruction of his opponent's leg. While the first two rounds were close, Tumenov seemed to have a slight edge, leaving the decision up in the air.
Ultimately, two of the three judges awarded the Russian boxer the victory.
This was a tremendous fight. Both men showed off their strength and landed hard shots, and they also showcased their toughness by staying up during some tough moments.
Tumenov's ability to put together combinations is spectacular. He's a great boxer that selects his punches very well, catching his opponent's circling into power shots often. For example, a sudden left high kick very nearly caught Larkin clean in the face, which would've ended his night early.
None of those finishing strikes connected this time around, but Tumenov still put together a hell of an attack and threatened his opponent until the final bell.
Following this win, Tumenov deserves a position in the top 15. If he doesn't receive that, he at least should square off with a ranked fighter, such as Thiago Alves.
Larkin also fought very well. His leg kicks were simply devastating, as Tumenov was having trouble merely standing up after two rounds with the kickboxer.
However, this fight showed the holes that exist in Larkin's boxing. He relies a ton on his speed to landing flashy punches, which a hyper-technical striker like Tumenov will be able to capitalize on. Additionally, if Larkin had set a few more low kicks up with punches, he may have been able to finish or knock his opponent down.
Regardless, it was a great battle that ended in a split decision. Larkin's stock does not fall with this defeat; he simply doesn't gain any ground.
Last night, Albert Tumenov came out on top of an entertaining duel with Lorenz Larkin. Is the Russian a legitimate title contender?
For complete UFC 195 "Lawler vs Condit" results and play-by-play, click HERE!