Source: Luke Rockhold injures hand
Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold suffered a hand injury that has forced him out of a Jan. 12 title showdown with Lorenz Larkin, a source close to the situation confirmed to ESPN on Monday.
The injury was earlier reported by themmacorner.com on Saturday. Strikeforce officials have yet to issue a statement regarding the matter.
Rockhold's withdrawal marks the second time he has pulled out of a fight with Larkin. They were scheduled to meet on Nov. 3 in Oklahoma City, but a wrist injury forced Rockhold to withdraw from the bout. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir pulled out of the Nov. 3 event in September with an injury. Mir was slated to face Strikeforce Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier.
Shortly after Rockhold's injury was revealed, officials from Strikeforce and Showtime, which owned broadcast rights to the card, canceled the Nov. 3 event.
Rockhold is the second champion to pull out of the Jan. 12 show. Strikeforce lightweight titleholder Gilbert Melendez was removed from the card after suffering an undisclosed injury.
Melendez was slated to face top contender Pat Healy. The two were expected to meet Sept. 29 in Sacramento, Calif., but that fight was postponed when Melendez separated his right shoulder during a training session.
Cormier is slated to battle Dion Staring in the co-feature bout.
Strikeforce's future remains in limbo. There are rumblings the promotion will go out of business after the Jan. 12 show.
Its highly popular women's bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, recently signed a multifight contract with UFC, which is in the process of signing additional 135-pound fighters.
Cormier will join his fellow former Strikeforce heavyweights in UFC after facing Staring.
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