Bristol Marunde Replaces Derek Brunson Against 'Jacare' Souza at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Superior Cage Combat middleweight champion Bristol Marunde has signed on to replace Derek Brunson against former titleholder Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at next Saturday's Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey event.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed the signing on Wednesday via Twitter.

Brunson was scratched from the contest after failing his pre-fight medicals by testing below the commission's minimum vision threshold without his contact lenses. Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato revealed that Brunson's vision is 20/400, which fails to meet the state standard of "uncorrected visual acuity."

Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey is slated for March 3, 2012, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate defends her title against former Olympian Ronda Rousey in the night's main event.

The late match-up switch marks an enormous leap in competition for Marunde (15-6), whose biggest previous wins came against UFC veterans Jay Silva and Rich Attonito. Training out of West Coast Fight Team, the 29-year-old journeyman recovered from early turbulence to amass nine victories in his last ten appearances, including three first-round stoppages, with his only stumble arriving via a submission loss to Jordan Smith in 2009.

Souza (14-3, 1 NC), meanwhile, looks to rebound after dropping his Strikeforce middleweight title in a unanimous decision loss to Luke Rockhold last September. The setback snapped a four-fight win streak for the Black House fighter, which included dramatic wins over Tim Kennedy, Robbie Lawler, and Matt Lindland.

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