Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 9-0 SF), the Strikeforce middleweight champion, and Larkin (13-0 MMA, 4-0 SF) are being targeted for an as yet unannounced Strikeforce card on Jan. 12. Sources close to the promotion on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fight booking is in the process of being finalized.
Rockhold and Larkin were scheduled to meet in the co-main event of Strikeforce's Nov. 3 show in Oklahoma City, but that card was scrapped not long after Rockhold pulled out with a wrist injury.
That card, which was to take place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, also lost its main event, a heavyweight fight between Daniel Cormier and UFC crossover Frank Mir. The loss of the two marquee fights led to a Showtime decision to not broadcast the card, and then ultimately the Strikeforce cancellation of its second consecutive show.
But at the time of the cancellation announcement, Showtime and Strikeforce said a blockbuster card was being planned for January. Now that card appears to have its first matchup, though nothing has been announced by the promotion or the cable network.
Rockhold is unbeaten in Strikeforce and has defended his title twice since winning it against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. In January, he stopped Keith Jardine in the first round. And in July, in a long-awaited fight, he made relatively easy work of Tim Kennedy, winning by unanimous 49-46 scores in Portland, Ore.
Larkin will come into the fight unbeaten off a dominant unanimous decision sweep of Robbie Lawler at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" in July. His unbeaten record comes with an asterisk of sorts, as he lost by second-round knockout to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in January. But when Lawal tested positive for a banned steroid after the fight, the result was flipped to a no contest.
That bout was at light heavyweight. Against Lawler, Larkin made his middleweight debut and the win resulted in a quick title shot that was put on hold with Rockhold's injury.
For more on Strikeforce in January, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Luke Rockhold)