When officials announced the Jan. 12 event in early November, Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 9-0 SF) said he informed officials that a wrist injury lingered and that he was unable to fight.
That's why he's particularly irritated by a series of verbal attacks from Lorenz Larkin (13-0 MMA, 4-0 SF) regarding his willingness to compete.
"He was obviously misinformed to some extent," Rockhold said. "I've been in that situation, but just to lash out at me, that's pretty amateur."
Larkin, who today addressed his grievances with MMAjunkie.com Radio, was twice scheduled to vie for the title before injuries interceded.
"I just feel like guys are acting like they haven't paved any way for them to go to the UFC and a catastrophe could happen on Jan. 12, where [UFC President Dana White is] going to be like, 'No. I didn't like the way you fought, and you're not going to come over,'" Larkin said.
Rockhold, however, said the UFC wasn't a part of his decision. He noticed his injury eight weeks prior to a fight scheduled for a Nov. 3 event and announced his withdrawal two weeks later.
"Every time I would grip something, it would be a sharp pain," he said. "I'd punch wrong, and it would make me want to cry."
Rockhold saw multiple doctors and had several MRIs done on his wrist. Training never completely resumed.
Four weeks ago, he underwent a blood therapy called PRP (platelet-rich plasma) to speed the healing process on what was diagnosed as a tear to his triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and ligament sprain. He also spent three weeks in a hard cast, which was removed this past week.
"I don't take steroids, so I don't know if I can heal as fast as some of these guys," Rockhold said. "I do things the way I know how."
Strikeforce and broadcast partner Showtime dually announced the Jan. 12 event with three title fights: lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy, Rockhold vs. Larkin, and welterweight champ Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine.
Melendez earlier this month withdrew from the event, later titled "Strikeforce: Champions," citing a nagging shoulder injury. News of Rockhold's withdrawal became public over the weekend.
Rockhold believes the confusion over his status may stem from a conversation with Strikeforce officials following his first injury in which he gave a timeline for his readiness to fight.
"They never really got back to me, and they just thought I'd be ready, and I wasn't able to get on it," he said. "I don't really know. I don't really want to get into it, to tell you the truth. I wasn't able to train.
"They announced the fight, and I immediately called and told them how I felt and now here we are. They wanted to make a date happen, and I know they want to get done with this thing probably as much as anybody else, and for some reason they have to put on a last card. Pushing this card hard, it seems like. I just wasn't able to make the date at that time."
Relations between Strikeforce parent Zuffa and Showtime steadily have deteriorated since a March meeting between UFC President Dana White and Showtime officials. White said he was "hands-off" with Strikeforce after his input on the look of the event was nixed.
Two Strikeforce events have been canceled due to high-profile injury withdrawals that prompted Showtime to decline low-wattage events.
With the promotion's final event slated for January, Rockhold won't defend the belt he won with a September 2011 decision over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. But he stressed that he didn't withdraw from the event because he had designs on starting anew in the UFC once Strikeforce folded.
"That was not any part of my thought process," Rockhold said. "I'm injured. I want to get paid. I want to shut Lorenz's mouth. I'm not waiting in any shape or form for the UFC. You can never count on that happening. I've heard that in the past, and I'm not going to wait for that to happen.
"I have a lot of things I want to do in my life. This has set me back. I was going to buy a house, and now it looks like I'm going to wait until I'm more financially stable. I want to fight, plain and simple. It doesn't matter who. Except at this point, after the talk, obviously I'm partial to fighting Lorenz."
The feeling isn't mutual for Larkin, who said he wants to move on.
Rockhold doesn't hold that against the middleweight contender. He estimated he'll be ready to return in three to four months after completely healing his wrist. He is unconcerned with the location of the next bout.
"I'd be completely happy with the UFC, but I just want to fight and get paid," he said. "I want to be best in the world. Eventually, whether it's here or there, I want those fights."
For more on "Strikeforce: Champions," stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.