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Derek Brunson Claims Contact Lenses Caused Him to Fail Medical Exam

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Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza needs a new opponent after Derek Brunson dropped out of the scheduled March 3 fight.

Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Just 10 days before its next event, Strikeforce is scrambling to find a new opponent for former middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.

Derek Brunson, who was slated to fight Jacare on March 3 in Columbus, Ohio, has dropped out of the card because he did not pass his pre-fight medicals, Strikeforce has announced. So what was the medical issue? According to Brunson, it's that the Ohio athletic commission won't let him fight wearing contact lenses.

"Ok here's the deal," Brunson wrote on Twitter. "I've been fighting with contacts for 11 fights ... never was an issue. Ohio won't pass my eye exam. ... Stevie Wonder can play a piano blind & blind people can drive cars, but i can't fight with contacts."

I'm not sure who those blind people driving cars are, but Brunson says he's getting Lasik soon. Unfortunately, it won't be soon enough to fight Jacare in a week and a half.

Losing Brunson vs. Jacare makes an already thin Strikeforce fight card even thinner. The card had already lost a planned fight between Gegard Mousasi and Mike Kyle when Kyle dropped out with an injury. One option for Strikeforce could be to put Jacare and Mousasi in the cage together in a rematch of the 2008 Dream middleweight tournament final, which Mousasi won with an upkick knockout. But that's probably not realistic, as Mousasi has since moved up to light heavyweight.

Strikeforce's shallow middleweight division doesn't have many other potential opponents for Jacare, but as of Tuesday afternoon the promotion is working on finding someone who can step in and take on one of the best Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners in the world on 10 days' notice.

The March 3 Strikeforce card is headlined by a women's 135-pound title fight between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey.