On Nov. 3, Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold had a date with top contender Lorenz Larkin as the co-main event to Daniel Cormier's final heavyweight bout under the Strikeforce banner.
However, Ariel Helwani confirms (via MMAFighting.com) that Rockhold injured his wrist and will not make the third defense of his title against Larkin. Larkin was coming off an upset victory over Robbie Lawler.
In order for Showtime to salvage the night, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza should be given a shot.
Souza earned a first-round knockout victory over Derek Brunson this past August, which helped build on the momentum of a submission win over Bristol Marunde in March.
The win was thought to catapult Souza into a position to at least challenge another elite middleweight, if not Rockhold in a title rematch. However, Souza never got the call, which led to Larkin getting the shot at Rockhold before this injury.
After defeating Brunson, some thought Souza should have been given a rematch with Rockhold, especially since Larkin's win over Lawler was his debut at middleweight after a no-contest against Muhammed Lawal.
Conversely, Larkin seems as close to a shot as anyone, with the win over Lawler on his record. Outside of Tim Kennedy, who beside Souza could stand between Larkin and a shot at Rockhold?
Strikeforce can't afford to lose another card.
They lost one because Showtime made the decision to not go on without Gilbert Melendez on last month's card, even though MMA fans that enjoy their subscriptions to Showtime would have liked to see the rematch between Pat Healy and Josh Thomson.
For Showtime to prove that they truly care about Strikeforce, trying to get Souza on board is the right move.
If not, Strikeforce will prove as good as (officially) dead, if anyone cares to remember it ever existed in the first place.
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