Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Conference Call HighlightsPosted on March 31, 2011, 07:20 PM by Joey Santosus
Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz and challenger Paul "Semtex" Daley will headline the stacked Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley fight card, set to take place April 9th from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. The co-main event will feature a Lightweight title clash between division champ Gilbert Melendez and Japanese stand-out Tatsuya Kawajiri, while submission specialist Shinya Aoki will go head to head with Lyle Beerbohm.
Below are highlights from today's Media Conference Call, which included headliners Nick Diaz and Paul Daley, as well as Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
• I'd say (Daley's striking) is probably better then anyone else we have fighting in MMA at 170. As far as boxing goes and stand-up striking skills.
• That's my training partner fighting Georges St. Pierre. I'm not really going to have any comments on how I think that fight is going to go. I think that Jake is going to win the fight, but that's all I am going to say about that.
• I try not to get stressed out over anything other than fighting. I think that's important. That's why I have someone to take care of all that. I've got the same people managing me that I've had from the beginning. I would hate to have to deal with all that stuff. I spend all my time training and focusing on getting better.
• I see a lot of good stuff happening for us. Good fights and good match-ups - what people want to see. I can say that for sure.
• I was asked before at a press conference what I thought about Paul Daley and I said I wasn't overly impressed with his MMA skills. As far as a well-rounded fighter is what I meant by that. I gave my thoughts on how that fight might go if it were to go in my favor. That's all I meant by the statements I made before.
• Its a good match-up. A lot of time you don't get to see strikers fight each other, but Strikeforce has managed to put a lot of fights together with good stand-up fighters. You don't see so much of the wrestling, its more of a striker's league.
• I don't have any (motivation) really. Other than I have got to be in great shape to train with these guys. My team is depending on me to stay in great shape. We're a team and we're going to try to win. That's my motivation.
• As far as upping my status by winning, I don't feel any pressure. Not that I don't feel like beating Paul Daley is a great accomplishment. I just think that in the rankings, I am ranked above him.
• That's what (Daley) does, he throws punches. I'll take what I can get. I'll try to win any way necessary.
• (Jon Jones and Rashad Evans) are not real training partners. They're like ten years apart for one, and they didn't grow up training together. That guy is brand new to this sport. They've got him so busy with photo shoots and press conferences and all that. They're not focusing on who is important to them in life. I've got training partners and whats got me here and that's my team. That's a disgusting thought to have to fight my brothers. I don't even appreciate being asked about that.
• I said before I'm not just blowing gas up his ass. I think Nick is one of the best boxers in MMA. Granted he doesn't have the one punch knockout power I have. But he's proven his hands are among the best in MMA. He's a fantastic striker.
• Obviously I fought Shields before and I lost over at Elite XC. I think Jake Shields is going to be the toughest opponent that GSP has faced in recent time. Jake Shields has not only proved himself at 170-pounds, but he beat Dan Henderson and Henderson is no joke. With that being said, Jake is slightly more one dimensional then St. Pierre. If GSP can keep the fight standing, then I think he's got a good chance of winning the fight. But I think we could be in for an upset.
• I honestly thought that I wasn't going to take the fight. I was actually a bit hot headed at that time. The way I saw it was that Strikeforce was the biggest competition for the UFC and the UFC and Dana White kicked me out. I kind of thrived in knowing that I was the rival to the UFC. That's what was driving me. I was in direct competition with them by being with Strikeforce. To me that was proving my worth.
• As a fan of the martial arts and a fan of MMA, I don't like to see the way its going. The sport is going to be a monopoly and in ten years time people are going to be calling MMA the UFC. I think that's bad.
• I think the most important thing for me right now is beating Nick Diaz and becoming the champion. Whatever happens after that will work out whether I am fighting guys that come from the UFC to Strikeforce or whether Dana swallows his pride and has me come over to the UFC and fight.
• I'm sure Cesar Gracie, being the great coach he is, knows for a fact that I have monkey like arms. My reach is actually the same as Nick Diaz and I'm sure they're aware of that. Nick is taller than me, but his reach is the same as mine.
• Nick is a great jiu-jitsu guy, is a great boxer, and is a fighter that fights. I've said that before I even knew I was fighting him. This is not mind warfare games, I honestly think Nick Diaz is a great fighter because he comes to fight. I'm a fan of Nick Diaz, but unfortunately I've got to fight him.
• Obviously first and foremost I want to win, but I understand that as a fighter I am an entertainer as well. So I would like to win in entertaining fashion. Its no secret that I am not a jiu-jitsu wizard and I hate wrestlers that are just going to lay and pray. So my defense is to knock people out, and I've been very successful doing it.
• I've challenged for titles in the past and again this is an opportunity for me to be the first British MMA fighter to win a significant US title. We've trained with that in mind and we're going to make history. When people look back at the history of MMA and the history of British fighters, I'll always be there in history.
• I was fully motivated before ZUFFA ever thought of purchasing Strikeforce. I look up to Nick as a fighter and being away from the UFC, he is the only other big name out there, the only other fight that really means something to the fans. That was always the fight I was after and it was always the motivating factor with me being away from the UFC and signing with Strikeforce.
• I do what I've got to do. My intention is to take Nick's options away. Although he is a great striker and a great boxer, I want him to have no choice but to stand with me.
• (ZUFFA purchasing Strikeforce) motivated me big time, it lit a little bit more of a fire under me. I re-signed with Strikeforce and have a great deal with them and now I have the marketing team of ZUFFA behind me. That means I am going to be exposed to the fans out there that call MMA the UFC and I'm going to get a chance to really find out if I am number one. There's a lot of great match-ups out there and its going to be great for my career.
• I'm not banking on anything, but I am happy that I am familiar with the cage and the California Commission. To me thats an advantage. I'm not banking on it, but if it does give (Kawajiri) problems, I'll totally take advantage of it and try to expose it like I did with Aoki.
• Its more than training partners, we're a family. Someone like Nick, Nate, and Jake, they've all helped me become the fighter I am. How am I going to use these skills that they taught me against them? Its just not right.
• I do see (Kawajiri) as a better fighter than the first time we fought, but I see myself as a way better fighter. I look at myself and I see ten times more of a difference. Of course I see difference in him, his grappling, his takedowns, his striking as well. And his patience in applying his gameplan.
• I got surgery (on my hand) and it's A-Ok now. I've been training with it and hitting hard with it since November. It never really stopped me, I trained with one hand. Fighting is a way of life for me, I train no matter what.
• For about a week (following the earthquake) I was unable to train at other gyms. But I had the support of friends and family and have been able to train where I'm at now.
• I feel that I have advanced as an MMA fighter and I will be able to fight a smarter fight this time. I am training to become a better fighter everyday.
• I've been training as usual. No specific training geared towards fighting in a cage.
• I always fight for myself and this fight is between me and Gilbert. I do want to meet the expectations of my fans and friends. I'm looking forward to seeing my fans, friends, and family smiling after the fight.
Cover Photo: Esther Lin