Lorenz Larkin is slated to challenge Luke Rockhold for the Strikeforce middleweight title on Jan. 12, a source close to the bout told Sherdog.com on Thursday.
Neither the pairing nor the event date has been made official by the promotion as of yet, and the location of the show also remains a mystery. MMAJunkie.com first reported the Jan. 12 re-booking on Wednesday. Rockhold was initially supposed to defend his championship against Larkin on Nov. 3 in Oklahoma City. However, both the bout and the card were canceled after Rockhold and several other key players on the bill withdrew due to injury.
Rockhold, 28, rides a nine-fight winning streak heading into his third middleweight title defense. The Californian has tasted defeat just once since beginning his pro career in 2007 and owns eight of his 10 victories by either knockout or submission. Rockhold wrested the belt from around the waist of Ronaldo Souza last year and has since defended it twice successfully, stopping UFC veteran Keith Jardine in January and then taking a unanimous decision over ex-Strikeforce title challenger Tim Kennedy on July 14.
Larkin, 26, has been perfect in his pro career, save for a January knockout loss to former light heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal that was later changed to a no-contest by the Nevada Athletic Commission after “King Mo” tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Larkin then made the cut to middleweight, taking a July decision over onetime EliteXC titlist Robbie Lawler to earn a crack at Rockhold’s belt.