After Gilbert Melendez dropped off the card last week, Strikeforce: Champions suffers more with the loss of Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
The injury bug has hit Strikeforce again. After their last two events were cancelled the California-based promotion resolved to put together one last super card for January. The main card of the aptly named Strikeforce: Champions was meant to include defenses from their most prolific champions in Luke Rockhold (Middleweight), Nate Marquardt (Welterweight), Gilbert Melendez (Lightweight) and Daniel Cormier (Heavyweight Grand Prix).
Now it's looking like Strikeforce will be lucky to call the event "Champion". Last week it came out that Gilbert Melendez was forced from his fight against Pat Healy for the second time. Friday night, The MMA Corner announced that Luke Rockhold also suffered an injury.
The MMA Corner has learned from sources close to the camp of Rockhold that the middleweight champion has suffered a wrist injury and has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled Jan. 12 title defense against Lorenz Larkin.
It seems likely that Rockhold aggravated the same injury that forced him to withdrawal from the Nov. 3 Strikeforce card. Although the loss of a Middleweight title fight severely damages the quality of the January card, it's probably beneficial to Rockhold's career. Assuming the injury isn't too serious it should allow Luke to make his UFC debut much earlier than if he'd fought in January.
Strikeforce: Champions is scheduled for January 12, 2013 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. In addition to the title fights, Mike Kyle and Gegard Mousasi are also expected to appear on the card.