Strikeforce’s big finale event isn’t for another month and a half and already it’s being ravaged by injuries. The show, dubbed ‘Strikeforce: Champions’, is quickly running out of champions as both Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold are now off the card with lingering injuries. This is the second straight fight cancellation for both guys, as Gil pulled out of his September bout with Pat Healy back in September and Luke withdrew from a November fight with Lorenz Larkin. Apparently, shoulder and wrist injuries take a lot longer to recover from than you’d imagine.
While most fans will shrug over the loss of these fights, one guy that’s understandably pissed is Lorenz Larkin, who tweeted:
You see what Larkin is getting at: he doesn’t think Rockhold is all that injured. And really, what incentive does Luke have to struggle through his crippling wrist injury? The opportunity to lose his belt right before everyone gets transferred into the UFC? The same thing applies to Gilbert Melendez: he can rub some dirt on his shoulder and face off against a tough grinder like Pat Healy … or rest up and jump into a much bigger (and most importantly, RELEVANT) fight in the UFC.
A while ago a theory was floated around the MMA community that fighters were using injuries as an excuse to skip out of fights that weren’t particularly favorable to them. While I still think most UFC fighters know better than to try and pull a fast one on Daddy Dana, I doubt there’s a similar level of respect granted to Strikeforce and Scott Coker. With the big UFC merge about to go down, it’s worth way more for the champs to sit out than to fight.