Satoshi Ishii Out of Strikeforce Debut Due To Disasters in Japan

Satoshi Ishii

Satoshi Ishii (Photo by Daniel Vaulot)

Strikeforce officials early Monday announced that undefeated light heavyweight Lorenz Larkin would step in to replace Satoshi Ishii against Scott Lighty at Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers 15 in Stockton, Calif.

Ishii’s participation was another casualty of the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster that struck Japan. Due to the disasters, Ishii was unable to secure a visa in time for the fight.

Larkin (8-0) has knocked out or TKO’d six of his eight opponents, including the five most recent, and all but one of those in the first round.

“Lorenz is a talented, undefeated fighter whose aggression and power make him a threat in the light heavyweight division,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “He’s in for a tough test against Scott Lighty, who has trained with some of the sport’s best like Chuck Liddell. This is the biggest fight of his young career.”

Lighty (6-1) is also known for his striking game, having trained with UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell. He has won by knockout or TKO in four of his six victories.

In short, don’t be surprised if a slugfest ensues on Friday night.

“This is definitely a step up for me, but I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge,’’ Larkin said. “Lighty’s a good fighter with a lot of experience. But I’ve trained hard, I’m in good shape and I’m confident.’’

Justin Wilcox (10-3) faces Rodrigo Damm (9-4) in a lightweight bout battle in the Strikeforce Challengers 15 main event on Showtime.