"Jacare" Replaces Injured Luke Rockhold, Meets Lorenz Larkin
Strikeforce's January show seems to be the Humpty Dumpty of MMA events.
Larkin was originally scheduled to face middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. Rockhold and Larkin were first booked for the Strikeforce event set for Nov. 3 in Oklahoma City, but that event was canceled by Showtime after injuries forced both Frank Mir out of his fight with Daniel Cormier and lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez to pull out of his fight with Pat Healy. Rockhold vs. Larkin was then targeted for the January card, but a wrist injury forced Rockhold out of the fight. Souza, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, serves as Rockhold's replacement.
"Strikeforce: Champions" is headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine. The event was originally headlined by the rescheduled Melendez vs. Healy fight, but Melendez had to once again withdraw due to injury and Healy now faces Jorge Masvidal. Larkin's fight with Rockhold was intended to serve as the main event replacement until Rockhold's injury removed him the booking.
Larkin is undefeated in his 13-fight career with 12 of those wins taking place at light heavyweight. This past January, Larkin was knocked out by Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in the second round of their fight, but Lawal tested positive for a banned steroid and the loss was changed to a no-contest.
Deciding to make the drop to 185-pounds, Larkin was successful in his middleweight debut against Robbie Lawler at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" in July.
Souza, meanwhile, is 2-0 since losing the middleweight title to Rockhold in September 2011. His most recent win was a speedy 41-second knockout of Derek Brunson back in August.
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