Lorenz Larkin is new to the Bellator MMA promotion and is already getting a title shot. The former UFC standout is featured on Saturday’s star-studded event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with a fight against welterweight champ Douglas Lima.
When training outside of the cage for Lima, Larkin opted for looks from Nike and Reebok. Outside of the cage, however, his sneaker range is a bit broader.
Ahead of the fight, Larkin spoke with Footwear News about his go-to kicks, the shoes he wants to add to his collection, and his favorite sneaker trend of today.
What is it going to take to beat Douglas Lima in your Bellator MMA debut?
It’s going to take me coming in with my A-game. He’s no slouch, that’s why he’s the champion. I’ve had a healthy camp, no injuries, and I’m just ready to get in there and go at it 110 percent.
What did you do to train for the Lima fight?
I was working out Monday through Saturday; Sunday is my rest day. And I’m going hard all those days — sparring two days a week, maybe three times, strength and conditioning two times a week, and then mixing in my running within the week. It’s a hectic schedule; thank God it was only for two and a half months. I go to the gym in the morning at about 11 and done with the session around 3:30 p.m., then I’m leaving and coming back to the gym about 7 and knocking out my other workouts. It’s a full day.
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What sneakers do you train in? And how much of your training is done in sneakers?
I’ve got some Nikes that I use for running and strength and conditioning, a Nike Flex Run. And I’ve a squatting shoe from Reebok, the Legacy Lifter. My road work is done in sneakers, and sometimes my mid-sessions, too. And my strength and conditioning is in sneakers. Strength and conditioning is Tuesdays and Thursdays, and road work, just me running, depends on my mood. Sometimes I get home after Monday’s practice and I’m done. Some days I’ll run at 11 p.m. downtown and back, which is about four miles for me.
Reebok Legacy Lifter, $199.99; reebok.com
Are you a fan of sneakers even when not training? How many pairs do you own?
I feel like I am. I don’t wear any raggedy stuff. My girlfriend made me give a lot away though because I was hoarding them. Now I’ve got 20 pairs.
What are your go-to kicks?
I’m big into the Nike Lunar boots, the Lunar Force Duckboot. I’ve got two pairs, the brown and black and the all-black. I’ve got a wide foot, so I can’t wear certain types of shoes. I finally found the right Jordans that fit me perfect and they’re the most comfortable shoe I ever wore, the Eclipse.
What’s the standout shoe in your collection?
The brown and black Lunar Force boots. Every time I put them on everybody’s like, “Man, those are sick. Where did you get them from?”
Nike Lunar Force 1 Duckboot, $164.99; footlocker.com
How long have you been collecting?
Since I could afford them. But I’ve always been particular on never wearing dirty shoes. Shoes tell a lot about a person. You should always want clean shoes. At least I do.
What’s the most you’ve paid for a pair of sneakers?
$350 or something like that for the magenta and pink Nike LeBron 12. I didn’t look at the price; I just liked the shoe and bought them. I ended up not being able to wear them. I wore them out for one night and had to trade my buddy for his Chucks because my foot couldn’t stand it anymore.
What’s the least you’ve paid?
Probably $25 for some quick running shoes from Payless, Champion shoes.
What’s the next pair you want to add to your collection?
I just saw some Adidas that I like, the Tubular Shadow. It’s the new low top style that looks almost like a stitched car seat material. I got my girl two pairs of Tubulars, but I wasn’t into them like that for myself. And then I saw two pairs of Shadows, a black pair and a cream pair, and I was like, “I think I have to get those.”
What’s your favorite sneaker trend of today?
I like the Yeezys, but I can’t pay that much for a shoe, man. I like the [Nike] Red Octobers and the [Adidas] 350. I could pull off the [Adidas] 750s, too.
What thoughts do you have on fighting at Madison Square Garden, one of the biggest stages for sports in the world, for your first Bellator MMA bout?
It’s a monumental moment for a fighter. So much history there. That’s something to tell your kids because there aren’t too many people that have fought there, especially in MMA. It’s one of those things you’ll hold in your memory bank for a very long time.
What is the current state of Bellator MMA and can the company become the biggest draw in the sport?
The sky’s the limit. If you looked at Bellator a year ago you never would have thought they would be in the position that they’re at right now. Scott [Coker] knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s bringing the company to the forefront right now, and it’s a great time to be in the company. For a promotion, they focus a lot on their fighters. They focus on the brand, too, but they also focus a lot on building their fighters’ brands. Usually you look at promotions and it’s all about the promotion, but this is like half and half almost. How they treat fighters is a great thing to see and be a part of.