A back injury has forced Jorge Masvidal (23-7 MMA, 5-1 SF) out of next month's planned bout with fellow lightweight Pat Healy (28-16 MMA, 6-1 SF) at "Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine."
Sources close to the fighter today confirmed the withdrawal with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
Although the organization has made no official announcement, a replacement likely will be sought.
The event, which is Strikeforce's final one, takes place Jan. 12 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Masvidal vs. Healy was expected to be the featured bout on the night's preliminary card, which airs on Showtime Extreme prior to the Showtime-televised main card.
MMAjunkie.com first reported the Masvidal vs. Healy bout this past month. Healy initially was slated to fight lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez, who was forced off the card with an injury of his own.
Masvidal had recently returned to the win column with a decision victory over Justin Wilcox. The American Top Team product fell short in his previous bout, a December 2011 bid for Melendez's lightweight title that ended in a unanimous-decision win for the champ.
Masvidal was set to fight Bobby Green at a Strikeforce event planned for Nov. 3, but the show was canceled due to injury withdrawals.
The latest card now includes:
MAIN CARD (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET)
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi
Ed Herman vs. Ronaldo Souza
PRELIMINARY CARD (Showtime Extreme, 8 p.m. ET)
Pat Healy vs. TBA
Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith
Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith
Ryan Couture vs. KJ Noons
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 7 p.m. ET)
Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martins
Michael Bravo vs. Estevan Payan
For more on "Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine," stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.