This Saturday night Dec Larkin (13-10) vs. James McErlean (4-3) will serve as the main event of Akuma Fighting Championship 8.
McErlean is primarily known as a bantamweight and has fought two of Larkin's Next Gen teammates in the past going 1-2 against them. He comes into this fight having stopped a three-fight-skid by beating Niall Smith at Akuma 7 in February.
Larkin will be fighting for the first time in 2016 and will be glad to be competing so close to home after a pair of fights in mainland Europe didn't go his way at the tail end of 2015. Last time he fought at home he captured the Chaos belt defeating Gavin Carlin via first round submission.
- McErlean made his pro debut in 2013, six years earlier in 2007 Larkin began his pro career.
- In his three professional losses McErlean has never been finished.
- Dec Larkin has a high finish rate with over 80% of his wins coming via TKO or Submission.
- McErlean has a 50% finish rate via submission while 70% of Larkin's losses have come via submission.
- Win or lose over 75% of Larkin's fights have ended in the first round.
- McErlean is 2-2 in Akuma FC thus far, this will be Larkin's debut in the promotion.
The edge in this fight has to go to Larkin with his experience and bigger size however McErlean, as you can tell by the stats, is incredibly durable and hard to finish. Given Larkin's losses by submission you might expect McErlean to target this or at least be confident if it goes to the ground.
One thing to be sure is that Larkin will come out strong like always, piling the pressure to get an early stoppage win. It will be interesting to see if he will be the first man to stop McErlean. As the fight goes on you might start to favor McErlean more as he has been the full distance in his past five fights all against tough opposition.
Akuma FC 8 takes place tomorrow in the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick. For the full Fight Card click here.