Strikeforce officials on Tuesday afternoon told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that journeyman heavyweight Jimmy Ambriz (14-12-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) is not fighting the former pro wrestler at "Strikeforce: Miami," despite a seal of approval from the Florida State Boxing Commission.
Despite the latest setback, officials said they felt confident a replacement opponent would be found in time for the Jan. 30 event, which features a welterweight title bout between Nick Diaz and Marius Zaromskis and will be broadcast live on Showtime.
Officials said the promotion was "starting from square one" in the search for a heavyweight to face Lashley.
Starting from square one is not the kind of thing you want to hear roughly 10 days from the weigh-ins. We've gone from rumors of Shane Del Rosario (who we heard rumors of Lashley's camp turning down), to Yohan Banks (who the state commission oddly turned down) to Jimmy Ambriz (who was turned down by Showtime) to...a question mark.
For as many strides as Strikeforce has made to this point this shows a lot of the growing pains they're having to go through. Camps, fighters and networks are all seeming to have too much input into how things are run which is leading to a really ugly situation here.
[UPDATE] by Anton Tabuena - Lashley Comments on the Situation
"I got a call last night that said I'd definitely be fighting, and [Strikeforce officials] said, 'We want to make sure to have the right opponent for you'... I hope everything works out. I hope they find someone and the fight is good."
"It's going to be a little difficult training. I have to sharpen all aspects of my game, so regardless if I have an opponent or not, I'm still going to work on every piece of my game going into this fight."