Several bouts were added to Strikeforce’s Jan. 12 card, and the event has been renamed Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, the company announced on Thursday.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will step in for an injured Luke Rockhold to face Lorenz Larkin in a middleweight affair. Also, Roger Gracie will test Anthony Smith in an additional middleweight duel. And to make it a trio of 185-pound additions, one-time title contender Tim Kennedy will fight Trevor Smith on the card.
Souza (16-3, 1 N.C.) was last seen in a Strikeforce cage during the company’s August event in San Diego, where he toppled Derek Brunson in 41 seconds. His opponent, Larkin (13-0), was originally scheduled to face Rockhold for the middleweight title, but an injury to the champion prevented that fight from taking place.
Gracie (5-1) will be competing in only the seventh fight of his young MMA career. He last competed in July at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, where he topped veteran Keith Jardine for a unanimous decision. His opponent, Anthony Smith (17-7), was last seen winning by submission at Strikeforce’s August show.
Kennedy (14-4) last fought in an unsuccessful attempt for the Strikeforce middleweight title against the champion, Rockhold, in July. The fight was scored unanimously for his opponent. Kennedy’s Jan. 12 foe, Trevor Smith (10-2), is a product of Strikeforce’s Challenger Series, and last fought in June with a submission win.
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