Strikeforce has confirmed a report initially broken by MMAjunkie.com that Bobby Southworth is off the promotion’s card scheduled for the Playboy Mansion on Sept. 20.
Southworth had been scheduled to defend his Strikeforce light heavyweight title vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral but is unable to compete due to what is believed to be a possible torn ACL and meniscus. According to Strikeforce, Southworth suffered the injury during a routine training session while preparing to fight Sobral at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif.
Southworth’s replacement for the show has already been secured in the form of EliteXC and Strikeforce veteran Anthony “A-Train” Ruiz. Ruiz last competed for EliteXC on July 26 in a non-televised bout during its “Saturday Night Fights” event in Stockton, Calif. Fighting fellow light heavyweight Jeromy Freitag, Ruiz improved to 21-11 with a unanimous decision victory.
Ruiz has actually fought Southworth on two occasions. He defeated him in a non-title fight last November via a second round TKO due to a cut. Ruiz was then granted a title shot this past June during the undercard for the Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson show, but he was unable to claim the title after losing a unanimous decision.
Sobral, a veteran of the UFC and PRIDE, last fought during Affliction’s first-ever event on July 19 in Anaheim, Calif. Facing former IFL standout Mike Whitehead, Sobral left the ring victorious after recording a unanimous decision.
In addition to Sobral vs. Ruiz, “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” is scheduled to feature bouts between Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson vs. Ashe Bowman (non-tile), Joe “Diesel” Riggs vs. Kazuo Misaki, and Terry Martin vs. Corey Devela. Billy Evangelista is also expected to be in action against an opponent yet-to-be determined.