After Derek Brunson was forced out of the planned match up with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Strikeforce went to the independent MMA circuit to find a replacement, casting Bristol Marunde to meet the former champion.

Souza and Marunde will be part of the Showtime-televised main card on March 3 from Columbus, Ohio. Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey features a main event between women’s champion Miesha Tate and former Olympian Ronda Rousey.

Marunde (15-6) has won nine of his last ten fights including a recent victory over ex-UFC fighter Jay Silva. Marunde has competed in both the IFL and for M-1 during his career.

Souza (14-3) has won four of his five Strikeforce fights with the lone loss coming at the hands of Luke Rockhold and costing him the Strikeforce middleweight title. Souza was expected to meet Brunson, but the rising prospect could not get cleared due to vision problems.

News of the match-up was no doubt disappointing to Strikeforce 185er Tim Kennedy who has been asking for a fight and said he would be willing to face Souza on short notice.


MMATraining Take: For Souza, this is a no-win situation, as the ex-champ should take care of Marunde easily. For Marunde, whoever, this is a chance to shock the world and make himself a contender in Strikeforce if he can pull the upset. With the fight being changed up on short notice, anything is possible. P.S. – It’s garbage that Kennedy was overlooked again.