Strikeforce’s “blowout” January card seems to have taken another hit at Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is reportedly out of his scheduled January bout with Lorenz Larkin. The news follows reports that Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will also be absent from the card as well. Both fighters suffered injuries earlier this year that contributed to the demise of two separate events for the promotion.
The MMA Corner reports that it is a wrist injury that will shelve a Rockhold versus Larkin bout for a second time. Rockhold was knocked off the doomed November OKC card with a wrist injury as well. Reports suggest that the wrist injury is the same one Rockhold injured prior to their first scheduled meeting.
This news follows the reports that lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will also be off the January 12 card due to his lingering shoulder injury sustained prior to his originally scheduled October meeting with challenger Pat Healy.
Strikeforce has yet to confirm either injury and still has both bouts still listed on their website for what is expected to be the promotion’s final show. While the changes have not been announced, both Rockhold and Melendez were left off a promotional video for the OKC card that aired during Showtime’s boxing event this past weekend.
The January event will take place at the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The arena was the original site for “Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir” before the event was canceled prior to the November show. The card will be headlined by welterweight champion Nate Marquardt facing Tarec Saffiedine and Strikeforce Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier taking on Dion Staring.