MMA fans were left disappointed over the weekend when news surfaced stating Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold had apparently backed out of a January defense against Lorenz Larkin as the result of an injured wrist. The withdrawal marked the second consecutive instance of Rockhold’s removal from a fight with Larkin for the same reason, a fact not sitting well with the soft-spoken contender’s camp.
Larkin’s manager, Arnold DeWitt, decided to be vocal about his disgust with the situation to MMA Diehards and offered some harsh words directed at the 10-1 title-holder.
“I hope that UFC President Dana White is paying close attention to this situation and comments on it publicly. We all know and have heard Dana in the news and what he expects of his fighters. We know that pulling out because of injuries continually is frowned upon. Does the guy want to fight or not want to fight? I don’t give a crap if we fight him in January, but we want to fight the guy because now it’s become personal,” stated DeWitt. “If you receive a bout agreement and can’t fight you should say something right away. He’s putting a lot of pressure on matchmakers because they’re trying to put on this final card. What are you doing to Zuffa when you’re pulling out and they’re spending weeks on promoting the fight?”
“For Luke, of course he wants to keep his title when he goes over to the UFC,” DeWitt continued. “That’s going to be a bargaining chip when he restructures his contract for a UFC contract. I can see why this is a dangerous fight and obviously they don’t want to fight us.”
“The bottom line is that now this is the second time he’s pulled out. We’ve been in camp; we’ve been prepared for both fights. At this point we’re highly frustrated,” he concluded. “We were prepared to fight Luke Rockhold for the title regardless of what’s going to happen with Strikeforce after January 12. We’ve been prepared both times and this is just totally unprofessional.”
Strikeforce has yet to confirm Rockhold’s decision to pull out of the match-up. It remains unknown if the organization will seek a replacement for a rumble with Larkin.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE