UFC Fight Night 70 Fight Breakdown: Lorenz Larkin vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Lorenz-Larkin The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 70 is a three-round welterweight bout between Lorenz Larkin and Santiago Ponzinibbio. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Larkin is a -230 favorite (bet $230 to win $100) while Ponzinibbio is a +190 underdog (bet $100 to win $190). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Larkin at -210 and Ponzinibbio at +160, and bettors are on the side of the favorite Larkin so far. I agree with Larkin being the favorite in this fight. Here’s why. Larkin (15-4, 1 NC) recently made his welterweight debut and put on a show against John Howard, becoming the first man to knock the veteran out. Larkin said he has a great weight cut and after watching his performance it definitely looks like he belongs at 170lbs. The 28-year-old American is only 2-4 in the UFC and after losing three-straight fights at middleweight was forced to go down to 170lbs or risk losing his job. It seems like he made a good decision. Although he disappointed at middleweight in the UFC, prior to the UFC he actually defeated Robbie Lawler in Strikeforce, so he’s definitely not as bad of a fighter as his UFC record indicates. In fact, Larkin is quite good. He is an excellent striker on the feet. He throws strong punches and kicks and in his career he has nine knockout wins. He will look to keep his fights standing and for the most part he is able to stop his opponents’ takedown attempts and use his striking to beat them. He is extremely dangerous on the feet and can knock most out. However, his own chin isn’t the greatest, having been knocked out by Costas Philippou in the UFC and King Mo Lawal in Strikeforce. Those two fighters are heavy-handed for sure, but still, Larkin does not have an iron chin, which makes for an interesting matchup when paired against a guy who will be looking for his chin the entire 15 minutes (or less) in Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio (20-2) The 28-year-old Argentinian is 2-1 in the UFC with a knockout win over Wendell Oliveira and a decision win over Sean Strickland, with a decision loss to Ryan LaFlare. Ponzinibbio is an extremely aggressive striker who is constantly pressing forward looking to knock his opponents out. He throws caution to the wind, unloading the kitchen sink on his opponents but leaving his own defence for disregard at the same time. With 11 knockout wins, it’s clear he has knockout power, although with his defence he himself has suffered a knockout loss to heavy-handed Leonardo Mafra from prior to the UFC. As far as his wrestling goes, it’s getting better for sure but right now he can be taken down by a better wrestler, someone like LaFlare. That won’t be something he has to worry about with Larkin, though, as this fight is almost definitely going to stay on the feet, which will allow him to focus on his striking and therefore makes for a compelling fight against an elite striker like Larkin. This is a tough fight to bet on because I’m high on both fighters and think they both have a lot to offer the welterweight division. Having said that, I was extremely impressed by Larkin in his 170lb debut against Howard and believe he can have success in this weight class. I expect this fight to stay on the feet and I think both men will have their moments. It’s possible someone gets knocked out, but this fight may go to decision as well, it’s really hard to say. Ponzinibbio is a very good fighter and I expect Larkin to have a tougher time with him than he did with Howard in his last fight, but I do think he can do what he needs to do to get the win. Having said that, I don’t see a betting opportunity here. I still don’t fully trust Larkin’s chin and Ponzinibbio has very good power, so it’s risky to bet on Larkin here, and the same can be said for Ponzinibbio. This should be a fun fight to watch, but as far as a bet goes, there are better fights on the card for that.

Written by Adam Martin.

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