When officials announced the January 12 event in early November, Rockhold (10-1 MMA) said he informed officials that a wrist injury lingered and that he was unable to fight. That’s why he’s particularly irritated by a series of verbal attacks from Lorenz Larkin (13-0 MMA) regarding his willingness to compete.
“He was obviously misinformed to some extent,” Rockhold said. “I’ve been in that situation, but just to lash out at me, that’s pretty amateur.”
Larkin was twice scheduled to vie for the title before injuries interceded.
“I just feel like guys are acting like they haven’t paved any way for them to go to the UFC and a catastrophe could happen on January 12, where [UFC President Dana White is] going to be like, ‘No. I didn’t like the way you fought, and you’re not going to come over,'” Larkin said.
Rockhold, however, said the UFC wasn’t a part of his decision. He noticed his injury eight weeks prior to a fight scheduled for November 3 event and announced his withdrawal two weeks later.
“Every time I would grip something, it would be a sharp pain,” he said. “I’d punch wrong, and it would make me want to cry.”
Rockhold saw multiple doctors and had several MRIs done on his wrist. Training never completely resumed.
Four weeks ago, he underwent a blood therapy called PRP (platelet-rich plasma) to speed the healing process on what was diagnosed as a tear to his triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and ligament sprain. He also spent three weeks in a hard cast, which was removed this past week.
“I don’t take steroids, so I don’t know if I can heal as fast as some of these guys,” Rockhold said. “I do things the way I know how.”
Strikeforce and broadcast partner Showtime dually announced the January 12 event with three title fights: lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy, Rockhold vs. Larkin, and welterweight champ Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine.
Melendez earlier this month withdrew from the event, later titled “Strikeforce: Champions,” citing a nagging shoulder injury. News of Rockhold’s withdrawal became public over the weekend.
London Fight Store