According to a report by The MMA Corner, Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has suffered a wrist injury and has been forced to withdraw from the card.
Strikeforce and Showtime officials were unavailable for comment when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and executives from both companies have yet to make an official announcement. However, sources close to the bout have indicated Rockhold is indeed a scratch.
Rockhold was expected to face Lorenz Larkin in the evening's main event. The bout was originally expected to serve as the co-headliner, but Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was also forced to withdraw from the card, and the Rockhold-Larkin bout was elevated to headliner status.
Rockhold is unbeaten in Strikeforce and has defended his title twice since winning it against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. In January, he stopped Keith Jardine in the first round. And in July, in a long-awaited fight, he made relatively easy work of Tim Kennedy, winning by unanimous 49-46 scores.
Larkin was coming into the fight unbeaten off a dominant unanimous decision sweep of Robbie Lawler at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" in July. His unbeaten record comes with an asterisk of sorts, as he lost by second-round knockout to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in January. But when Lawal tested positive for a banned steroid after the fight, the result was flipped to a no contest.
That bout was at light heavyweight. Against Lawler, Larkin made his middleweight debut and the win resulted in a quick title shot.
Rockhold and Larkin were also scheduled to meet in the co-main event of Strikeforce's planned Nov. 3 show in Oklahoma City, but that card was scrapped not long after Rockhold pulled out of the card, also due to a wrist injury.
That card also lost its main event, a heavyweight fight between Daniel Cormier and UFC crossover Frank Mir. The loss of the two marquee fights led to a Showtime decision to not broadcast the card, and then ultimately the Strikeforce cancellation of its second consecutive show.
The Jan. 12 event, which is expected to serve as the promotion's final card, is scheduled for Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena. It's unknown what affect, if any, the potential loss of Melendez and Rockhold would have on the evening's plans.
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(Pictured: Luke Rockhold)