A pair of title bouts are being targeted for Strikeforce’s January 12 return as middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will face Lorenz Larkin and welterweight champion Nate Marquardt will square off with Tarec Saffiedine. A city and venue is currently unknown for the January card. MMAJunkie and MMAFighting reported the respective match-ups earlier today.
Rockhold and Larkin were originally due to face off earlier this month in Oklahoma City before an injury forced Rockhold off the doomed card. Rockhold defended his title against Tim Kennedy this past July at “Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy.” His opponent, Larkin, extended his unbeaten streak to fourteen after making a succesful middleweight debut against Robbie Lawler on the same July card.
Marquardt won the Strikeforce title against Tyron Woodley on the July card in impressive fashion. The win marked a successful debut for the former UFC middleweight in his first bout since being unceremoniously cut after not being able to fight at UFC on Versus 4. Saffiedine won a sound unanimous decision victory over Roger Bowling at “Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman.” The bout was the third straight victory for the Belgian fighter since a loss to Tyron Woodley.
The two bouts will likely serve as the anchor of what Strikeforce plans to be a blockbuster return to action after having to cancel their past two events due to injuries.