2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Judoka Satoshi Ishii’s North American debut has been put on hold after the recent natural disasters in Japan prevented him from acquiring a visa in time for a scheduled bout against Scott Lighty this Friday night’s Strikeforce Challengers 15 event.
According to a press release from Strikeforce, undefeated striker Lorenz Larkin will step in to replace Ishii (4-1) in one of the night’s featured bouts alongside a headlining tilt between Justin Wilcox (10-3) and Rodrigo Damm (9-4).
“This is definitely a step up for me, but I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge,’’ replied the light heavyweight when asked about the upcoming fight. “Lighty’s a good fighter with a lot of experience. But I’ve trained hard, I’m in good shape and I’m confident.”
Larkin is 8-0 thus far in his career with six TKO and will enter Friday night’s event having won his last five fights in such a manner. Also notable is the fact more than half of his victories have come in the opening frame of action.
A training partner of former UFC 205-pound heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell, Lighty is also known for an ability to separate opponents from consciousness with four TKOs in six total victories. His last in-ring appearance resulted in a second round knockout of Shawn Frye this past August.
Fans can tune out to see how they fare along with the rest of the night’s competitors when Strikeforce Challengers 15 fires up live on Showtime starting at 10:00 PM EST (10:00 PM PST tape-delayed on the West Coast).