Luke Rockhold reportedly has suffered a wrist injury and is out of his title defense next month.
The injury is the latest blow to Strikeforce's Nov. 3 card in Oklahoma City, which now is missing complete main and co-main events. Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 9-0 SF) was scheduled to defend his middleweight title against Lorenz Larkin (13-0 MMA, 4-0 SF) in the night's co-feature.
News of Rockhold's injury first was reported by The MMA Corner, citing sources close to the fighter's camp, though neither Strikeforce nor Rockhold have made announcements of the news yet.
Strikeforce's Nov. 3 card is scheduled to take place Nov. 3 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Rockhold-Larkin was expected to serve as the co-main event on the card, which will air on Showtime and Showtime Extreme. The main event was to be a heavyweight bout between Daniel Cormier and UFC heavyweight Frank Mir, but Mir pulled out with an injury. And UFC President Dana White recently revealed that an attempt to have Matt Mitrione fight Cormier fell through when Mitrione turned down the fight.
That leaves the card without a main event while the UFC looks for a replacement for Mir, and now without a co-main event with Rockhold out with his injury. This comes on the heels of the promotion being forced to cancel its Sept. 29 show in Sacramento, Calif., when headlining lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez pulled out with an injury – and Showtime decided it would not air the event without its top-billed fighter.
The Rockhold-Larkin booking was one that took many by surprise. Following Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza's dominant win over Derek Brunson in August, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker fwas reasonably sure Rockhold would be defending his belt in a rematch with Souza.
But instead, the Rockhold-Larkin fight was booked. And now, Larkin will have to wait. He'll enter his next fight unbeaten, coming 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; for Lawler, Larkin made his middleweight debut, and the win resulted in a quick title shot that now won't be so quick after all.
Rockhold is unbeaten in Strikeforce and has defended his title twice since winning it against 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 in Portland, Ore.