Luke Rockhold | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
American Kickboxing Academy prospect Luke Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming middleweight clash with Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce “Feijao vs. Henderson” due to a leg injury sustained during training.
A source close to the fighter informed Sherdog.com Thursday afternoon of Rockhold's injury, asserting that it would take two to three weeks to heal. Rockhold has posted pictures of his bruised leg and foot on Twitter.
Sherdog.com also learned Thursday from an additional source that Strikeforce is hoping to fill the void left by Rockhold with Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef. This marks the third opponent Kennedy has been speculated to face on March 5. It is currently unknown if bout agreements are in place for the matchup.
Kennedy was initially rumored to meet Jason “Mayhem” Miller in a rubber match at the event, but his opponent was officially announced as Rockhold earlier this week. A member of the United States Army, Kennedy began his professional career in 2001, amassing a 9-2 record before joining Strikeforce in 2009.
Since signing with the promotion, Kennedy has only been beaten once, losing his most recent contest to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a five-round middleweight title tilt at Strikeforce “Houston” in August. Aside from besting Miller in their first matchup in 2003, Kennedy has also notched wins over Zak Cummings, Nick Thompson and Trevor Prangley, respectively.
The event, which will be headlined by the titular light heavyweight title clash between champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Dan Henderson, will go down at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and will coincide with the Arnold Classic.
Manhoef tweeted that he would be participating in the event on Thursday morning, but the Dutchman did not specify an opponent. MMA Junkie first reported the Kennedy-Manhoef bout this afternoon.