Middleweight titleholder on shelf
Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold suffered a broken right hand in his Saturday win over Keith Jardine and will be on the shelf while it heals.
Rockhold, defending his 185-pound title for the first time, beat Jardine with a first-round TKO in the main event of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine. After the bout, the Nevada State Athletic Commission gave Rockhold a six-month medical suspension for the possible hand injury, with the exception that the suspension would be lifted if Rockhold’s hand was cleared by a doctor.
But on his visit to the doctor, an x-ray showed Rockhold’s right hand was broken. The champ confirmed the news late Tuesday and posted a photo of the x-ray on his Facebook page. “Thanks for all the love everybody couldn’t do it without u guys!,” Rockhold posted. “So i did brake (sic) my hand but its a clean brake (sic) no surgery, minor price to pay for the sweet taste of VICTORY!!!”
Rockhold went on to say that the injury is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks. He is likely to have the hand in a cast for four weeks, plus additional time to rehab the injury after the cast is off.
Rockhold (9-1, 8-0 Strikef0rce) returned in September after more than 18 months out of action due to injuries and upset Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to win the Strikeforce middleweight title. His first defense was expected to be against Tim Kennedy, but injuries to Kennedy kept him out and Jardine, a former UFC light heavyweight moving to 185 pounds for the first time, was tapped to challenge Rockhold for the belt. But Rockhold made relatively quick work of the heavy underdog, then used his post-fight speech to ask not for Kennedy next, but for middleweights from the UFC to be brought over to challenge for his title.