Luke Rockhold Injured, Tim Kennedy vs Melvin Manhoef Now A PossibilityAs a result of a leg injury suffered in training, middleweight prospect Luke Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from his bout with decorated military veteran Tim Kennedy on March 5th at Strikeforce: Columbus. Kennedy is now rumoured to be facing knockout artist Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef.

The likely change marks the third potential opponent for Kennedy, who was first reportedly set to face rival Jason “Mayhem” Miller on the card. Instead, he is expected to clash with Manhoef, who is one of the most devastating strikers in the middleweight division and holds 23 knockout wins to date.

Kennedy (12-3-0) has been inactive since falling just short in a Strikeforce Middleweight Championship bout with current champion Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza in August. He had tasted defeat just one time – in a 2007 rematch with Miller – in 13 bouts before that and holds big wins over Miller, Nick Thompson and Trevor Prangley. Now finally able to train and fight full-time, the U.S. Army Ranger has his sights set on a rematch with Souza and another crack at Strikeforce gold, but will have a tough test ahead of him should the bout with Manhoef become official.

Manhoef (24-8-1) has encountered tough times over his last six mixed martial arts bouts, as he splits his time between MMA and kickboxing. A bid for the DREAM Middleweight Championship in 2008 was unsuccessful when Manhoef was submitted by eventual champion Gegard Mousasi and Manhoef is just 2-3 since that time. He is coming off of a shocking upset loss to Tatsuya Mizuno last July and needs a big victory to remain relevant in the middleweight division. Manhoef has fought only once for Strikeforce, just over a year ago in a losing effort against Robbie Lawler. He will look to even his record in March.

Strikeforce: Columbus takes place on March 5th at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The event is headlined by a Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Dan “Hendo” Henderson.


  1. Kennedy better take it to the ground quick.