Report: Luke Rockhold Out of Strikeforce's Final Card
The injury beset Strikeforce promotion, currently on life support as it runs down its deal with Showcase, has suffered another blow, with its middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, adding to the list of injuries for its January card.
Billed "Strikeforce: Champions," the card has now lost two main-event fighters after lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez announced last week that he won’t be fit enough for his fight against Pat Healey at the event in Oklahoma City.
Now The MMA Corner is reporting that Rockhold is also out:
The MMA Corner has learned from sources close to the camp of Rockhold that the middleweight champion has suffered a wrist injury and has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled Jan. 12 title defense against Lorenz Larkin.
The injury is the same one he aggravated back in October which caused him to pull out of the previously scheduled November 3 event against Larkin. That was the second main-card fight cancelled from that event, after Frank Mir pulled out with injury from his bout against Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner Daniel Cormier. With such a big void to fill, the promotion took the step of cancelling the entire show.
Two years ago, Strikeforce had become the second biggest promotion in MMA, behind the UFC, showcasing stellar talent replete throughout its divisions, including in women’s MMA.
However, in May 2011 it was bought by the UFC, and since then, the bigger promotion has plundered most of its talent pool and half-heartedly acquiesced to Showcase’s remaining television deal with Strikeforce.
The sparse roster has meant that injuries are proving fatal to any event the organization tries to put on.
In September, Strikeforce cancelled its first ever event after Melendez first reported he was injured and could not face Pat Healey.
That injury has persisted, and last week Melendez’s coach, Cesar Gracie, said that he was looking forward to migrating the fighter to the UFC.
Rockhold too will now be looking forward to a career in the UFC. The fact that he can’t fight at the January event means he’ll likely be able to fight with the UFC sooner after he recovers.
The only champion now left defending a title at what is likely to be Strikeforce’s final event will be welterweight Nate Marquardt, who takes on Tarec Saffiedine.
Cormier will also take on Dion Staring at the event, and Gegard Mousasi will face Mike Kyle in a light-heavyweight match.
The event is due to take place on January 12.
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