Luke Rockhold has been forced out of his UFC Fight Night Melbourne main event bout opposite Ronald “Jacare” Souza.
MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed Rockhold was out due to an undisclosed injury following an initial MMAFighting.com report.
Rockhold and Jacare were scheduled to meet in the UFC Fight Night 101 main event slated for Nov. 27 local time (Nov. 26 in North America) at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
The bout was to be a rematch of their fight from 2011 under the Strikeforce banner. Jacare had been the Strikeforce middleweight champion at the time, but lost the belt to Rockhold via unanimous decision.
With Rockhold ranked No. 1 in the UFC middleweight division and Jacare at No. 3, the fight was expected to play a pivotal role in determining the next contender to the belt currently wrapped around Michael Bisping’s waist.
It’s unclear what officials will do to fill the vacancy in Melbourne.
Souza’s manager, Gilberto Faria, told MMAFighting that the only bout they are interested in, aside from Rockhold, is a title fight against Bisping.
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“Michael Bisping is running from Jacare.” Faria said. “He is so scared of him. He’d rather fight someone like Dominick Cruz, who I would put my money on, by the way.”
Bisping has not been calling for a fight with Cruz, but has been angling for a fight with Georges St-Pierre or Nick Diaz. It’s not known whether he or the UFC would entertain a fight with Jacare yet.
If that fight doesn’t come together, it’s also unclear what direction the UFC Melbourne headlining bout might take. There are no other marquee fights on the card, although a middleweight bout between Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson could ….View full article