Lorenz Larkin did enough to earn a split decision victory over Jorge Masvidal tonight at UFC Fight Night 88 in Las Vegas.
Both men circling each other in the center of the cage to start. Punch misses for Larkin, but he does land a leg kick behind it.
Body punch for Masvidal. Another quick leg kick for Larkin. Punch for Masvidal, leg kick for Larkin. Couple of hooks miss for Larkin. He does connect with a body kick though and soon after goes back to the leg.
Now Masvidal lands a leg kick. Overhand right for Larkin glances Masvidal’s head. Leg kick for Larkin. Masvidal pressing forward, but Larkin stays out of range. Spinning kick misses for Masvidal, but he does land a punch.
Masvidal clinches now and presses Larkin against the cage. A minute to go in the round and Larkin lands a knee and a couple of hammerfists as he looks for a way out of this clinch.
Masvidal creates space and fires off a short flurry of punches, then backs away. Larkin now with a combination, but unfortunately in amongst that exchange a finger went into Masvidal’s eye and he’s clearly in pain from that, forcing a stoppage.
He takes his time and tells the referee he’s seeing double. Nonetheless he eventually says he wants to continue and they get back to it, though the round ends quickly after that.
A few missed kicks from Larkin. He goes upstairs with a head kick and it lands, but Masvidal laughs it off. A couple of leg kicks for Masvidal now.
Leg kick for Larkin. A couple of punches for Larkin. Leg kick for Masvidal. Right hand for Larkin. Now a right from Masvidal as he also bobs away from a strike in return.
Counter right for Masvidal. another right, but Larkin with a body kick. Now Larkin into the clinch against the cage with about half the round remaining.
Nice elbow and knee from Masvidal in close and then reverses the clinch. Elbow strike and then separates. Nice head kick from Masvidal, but not too much power in it.
Good jab for Masvidal. Now a body kick kick. Masvidal into the cage clinch now. Larkin reverses. He lands a knee and a heel kick.
They break apart with larkin landing a leg kick. Good left for Larkin. Again he lands solidly. Exchange in close and Masvidal gets the better of that one with a solid combo. Larkin catches Masvidal off-guard with a takedown to end the round.
Body kick for Masvidal. He lands a right hand as Larkin went for a kick. Left hand for Larkin. He connects with a powerful body kick.
Leg kick for Masvidal. One-two combo for masvidal. Larkin with a good uppercut. Larkin presses in for the clinch against the cage, though Masvidal with a good elbow.
Masvidal tries for a guillotine choke, but Larkin is able to get away. Suddenly they engage in a slug-fest at close range with both men throwing caution to the wind.
Into the clinch again and Masvidal goes to the mat working on a guillotine choke, but Larkin wall walks and gets away.
Masvidal happy to continue working on the grappling though and brings Larkin down to the mat. Larkin able to scramble to his feet and he re-engages in the clinch.
They separate and Larkin lands a body kick. Masvidal back into a takedown attempt and settles for the clinch. He lands a good elbow and then presses Larkin to the cage.
30 seconds to go. Short elbow strike for Masvidal. Now a right hook and a knee. Larkin reverses and the fight ends in the clinch as Masvidal fires off more elbows.
Another close fight then, and it goes down to a split decision ruling, with Lorenz Larkin emerging with the victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).