Strikeforce, already in the market for a heavyweight fighter to face Daniel Cormier in the main event of the promotion’s November 3 fight card, can now add a middleweight to their search. The organization’s middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, has been forced from the co-main event of that same card due to injury.
According to TheMMACorner.com Rockhold injured his wrist while training for his title defense against Lorenz Larkin. The event, scheduled for the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, OK lost its original main event back in mid-September when injury forced Frank Mir from his scheduled bout against Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament winner Daniel Cormier.
No replacement has yet to be named for Mir and as of now the card lists Cormier’s opponent for the fight as TBA (to be determined). UFC fighter Matt Mitrione was offered the fight against Cormier, but turned it down, telling BloodyElbow.com that he felt Cormier’s wrestling skill would have left him at a distinct disadvantage in that bout.
Rockhold captured the Strikeforce middleweight crown in September 2011, defeating Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by unanimous decision. The bout against Souza came after a long layoff for Rockhold, with his previous fight being a first-round TKO victory over Paul Bradley in February 2010.
Many felt the long layoff and the fact that Rockhold, in his eight prior bouts, had never left the first round would be at a distinct disadvantage against Souza. However, after 25 minutes of action, Rockhold’s hand was raised in victory with the scorecards reading 50-45, 48-47 and 48-47.
Since defeating Souza, Rockhold has defended the title twice, defeating Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy in those bouts.
Strikeforce was forced to cancel its last scheduled event when lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was injured while training for his September 29 fight against Pat Healy. At this point, the November 3 card is still on, but who will fight in the evening’s main event and co-main event is now up in the air.