Lorenz Larkin: 'I Don't Think Rockhold Is Mentally Tough,' Reluctant to Fight Me

Steven MuehlhausenContributor IIINovember 26, 2012

Larkin to the left
Larkin to the leftScott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

When something gets taken away from you once, you feel sad, but you might get over it pretty quickly.

But when the same thing is taken away from you twice, you might be a little more impatient to get it back again.

In the case of Strikeforce middleweight Lorenz Larkin, that sentiment is an understatement. Larkin was scheduled to face middleweight champion Luke Rockhold on a Strikeforce show on November 3, but Rockhold had to bow out due to a wrist injury.

According to a report from The MMA Corner, Rockhold has suffered an injury to the same wrist and will not be able fight Larkin at the January 12 Strikeforce event.

However, it took a little while though for Larkin to find out that Rockhold was injured.

"I always find out stuff out over the Internet or get a text," Larkin told Bleacher Report. "I got a text early this morning from a friend saying Rockhold got injured. I woke up and was like, 'What are you talking about?'"

"I look on the Internet and stuff starts popping up. I got a hold of my manager and then he got a hold of Zuffa. They told him that he (Rockhold) pulled out of the fight with a wrist injury."

After talking to his manager, Larkin was naturally disappointed.

"It is extremely frustrating," Larkin stated. "You are scheduled to fight somebody two times and it doesn't happen. Now you can possibly be in a situation where there is going to be a last-minute replacement or you aren't fighting. It sucks. That's the part of fighting I hate."

Rockhold has suffered a variety of injuries in his five-year career that have forced him to take substantial time off. That includes a shoulder injury that caused him to not fight from February of 2010 to September of 2011.

With the wrist injury canceling the fight in November and now the one on January 12, Larkin feels that Rockhold isn't mentally tough enough to be a fighter.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to hate on the guy, he (Rockhold) gets paid," Larkin stated. "He gets good money. That guy gets $100,000 to fight. When you're comfortable like that, these types of breaks don't really matter to that guy.

"Taking eight months off or just not fighting, declining a fight or even just being able to be like, 'I don't feel like fighting.'

"He's in that position where he can do it because of the money he gets from whatever sponsors pay him a month. He's in that opportunity. I don't think Rockhold is mentally tough. I don't think he still has that hunger that the smaller guys have that aren't getting the good money. They can fight just to fight.

"Anybody who's in this organization doesn't fight just to fight. They fight because they get paid. It is those guys that love to fight, that if they weren't in Strikeforce or in MMA, then all of these guys would have been locked up because they would be fighting."

Rumors have been running rampant that the January 12 Strikeforce event could be the last show, after which the fighters from Strikeforce would go over to the UFC. Larkin feels that Rockhold and the people around him are reluctant to face him, as they don't want Rockhold to potentially enter the UFC with a loss.

"At first (when Rockhold got injured before the November 3rd show) I was thinking I wouldn't put nothing past him," Larkin stated. "I was really cool about it. I wasn't really angry after everything was said and done.

"But now it is like, I wouldn't say he's scared, but I think he has too much to lose. If everything happens with Strikeforce and we do go over to the UFC, I just feel like it is a cop-out. He (Rockhold) doesn't want to fight because potentially he could come into the UFC with a loss. Him and his camp don't want to do that.

"It is a risk he doesn't need to take, and I'm pretty sure his camp and managers are telling him, 'Take the fight for what reason?'

"It's one of those things where everybody knows he's going to the UFC. Everybody knows at least which Strikeforce guys are going to the UFC. It's one of those things where on his side it is like for what, why fight, risk it and lose the belt, go in and not have no bargaining room? Or don't fight, go in (the UFC) with the belt and have all the bargaining room."

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.

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