Just In Lorenz Larkin not impressed with Andrey Koreshkov’s resume heading into Bellator 229 MMA Life

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TEMECULA, CALIF. – If one wanted to, one could built the case that Andrey Koreshkov is the best welterweight competitor in Bellator history.

The 29-year-old natives of Omsk, Russia had held the company’s welterweight championship, owns the division’s wins record (13), and won their seasons seven and 10 tournaments under the organization’s old format.

But Lorenz Larkin, who meets Koreshkov in the main event of Bellator 229 on Friday, just isn’t having it.

Larkin (20-7 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) took the deep dive into Koreshkov’s record, and he’s not all that impressed, seeing in Koreshkov (22-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) a fighter who dominated before the likes of Rory MacDonald and company came along.

“It’s crazy how long he’s been in Bellator, and, who’s he fought?” Larkin asked at Wednesday’s Bellator 229 media day. “Ben Henderson I don’t count, he’s a (1)55er. He’s one hell of a fighter but he’s a ‘55er at the end of the day, and Ben Askren. Those are the two high-level guys he’s fought, and (Douglas) Lima. So, Askren and Lima, and who else has he fought? Everybody else in the top welterweights has not fought this guy.”

Mind you, Larkin is not trying to say that Koreshkov isn’t skilled. He thinks it’s partly on the rest of the division, who would rather fight an opponent who’s name brings more attention than his low-key Russian foe.

“The only thing I can come up with is, his name is not there, so maybe people are aiming for the Rorys, the Limas, and they don’t want to fight, even the top guys don’t want to fight Koreshkov, because the average fan doesn’t know that he’s really good,” Larkin said.

“Some of these guys he beat, who are these guys? Give me some local talent of the town, you know? I can do whatever I want in the cage. So I watch the highlights and that’s why they don’t count to me. You’re not doing that on a Lima, you’re not doing that on a (Paul) Daley, you’re not doing that to Michael Page or the top guys. So, we’ll see.”

It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride in Bellator for Larkin, who jumped over from the UFC to great fanfare, but dropped high-profile fights to Lima and Daley in his first to Bellator bouts.

He rebounded to win his next two, but a back injury kept him out of action nearly a year.

But Larkin’s been through the ups and downs, and a win over Koreshkov would put him right back on top of his game.

“I’ve had runs like that before,” Larkin said. “I’ve overcame them. I just don’t dwell on it, you know what I mean? It’s the fight game, anything can happen. Like, the fight with Daley. That’s one of the hardest losses that I’ve had because I was doing everything right and he got a lucky, good shot. But that’s the game. That’s why a lot of people don’t survive in this game, because there’s so much mental behind it. I’ve been on a four-fight losing streak in the UFC and I overcame that and did two bonuses back to back. So I don’t even dwell on it.”

Bellator 229 takes at Pechanga Resort Casino. The main card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.

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