Strikeforce Diaz vs. Daley Recap and AnalysisPosted on April 10, 2011, 12:52 AM by Ryan Ventura
Paul Daley was walking into hostile territory Saturday night in San Diego. The fans may have been in the 619, but they brought the atmosphere of Stockton, California to the Valley View Casino Center. It was clear that Paul Daley was public enemy number one and they couldn't wait to see Mr. 209 himself, Nick Diaz enter the six-sided cage. As soon as Diaz made his walk into the cage, the whole arena exploded. This was the main event and the first major Strikeforce event under ZUFFA's rule. Even UFC president Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were present for the card. You can literally feel the tension in the air, even at home.
Fans are very familiar with Nick Diaz and Paul Daley's career antics. Both men are the bad boy faces of Mixed Martial Arts. Going into this bout, both men were fairly quiet. Not the usual trash and smack talk. That was until the weigh-ins last Friday, with the two combatants standing face to face exchanging words that nearly led to blows. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had to settle the two sides and anticipation for this fight was at an all-time high.
Now the champion and the challenger stood across from each other in the cage. Belt on the line, pride on the line, and perhaps even a chance to contend for a UFC title was on the line too. Paul Daley was looking for redemption and to prove he is a threat in the welterweight division. Nick Diaz wanted to continue his winning ways and show the world that he is still one of the best.
As referee “Big” John McCarthy was explaining the rules of the bout, the two fighters stared each other down once again exchanging pleasantries. With no touch of the gloves and the ring of the first round bell, it was on. This fight lived up to the hype and more. It had a little bit of everything and it was very close. Both men stayed true to their word and kept majority of the fight standing.
Nick Diaz using his signature unorthodox striking landed a few good shots, Paul Daley showcasing his brand of striking as well. The fight was back and forth, both men getting rocked numerous times. There were brief moments on the ground, but a big chunk of the fight was spent on the feet. Neither man had an edge on each other. That was until one brief exchange, with Paul's back against the cage, late in the first round. Daley got rocked, on wobbly legs fell to the ground, and Diaz went in for the kill.
Once again Nick Diaz is successful in defending his welterweight strap, with a possibly a UFC title shot waiting for him in the horizon. With Nick having practically cleaned out the division in Strikeforce, it's only a matter of time till he gets his shot at Georges St.Pierre's gold. That is unless of course Nick Diaz' teammate Jake Shields defeats GSP.
Questions I have after Diaz vs. Daley:
-With this loss, what will become of Paul Daley's future? He isn't exactly in ZUFFA's good graces, will the honor his contract, then drop him like a bad habit?
-How long will it take for Nick Diaz to make the UFC and contend for the welterweight gold there?
-Is there anyone currently on the Strikeforce welterweight that can beat Nick Diaz?
Notes from the rest of the fights:
-Gilbert Melendez looked like a beast against Tatsuya Kawajiri and we all know the “Crusher” is no easy walk in the park. In my personal opinion, he is the number one lightweight in the whole world. I dream of a match between El Nino and the UFC Lightweight champion.
-Gegard Mousasi in my mind got robbed against “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine. Gergard Mousasi got a point taken away in the first round because of an illegal upkick while on his back, but “The Dreamcatcher” dominated all three rounds for fifteen minutes. Jardine was purely out-classed and looked like he didn't belonged in the same cage with Mousasi.
-Lyle Beerbohm at one time was considered one of MMA's top prospects in the Lightweight division. He was no match for “The Baka Survivor” Shinya Aoki and Aoki once again showed the world why he is one of the best Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in Mixed Martial Arts.
Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Awards:
Fight of the Night – Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley was one of the best fights I've seen this year so far. Even though the bout was very short, the fight went back and forth but it was extremely close. It could have been either man's fight and I hope to see a part two.
Performance of the Night - Gegard Mousasi's performance against Keith Jardine was MMA Striking 101. Each blow was accurate and powerful, you can see the evidence all over “The Dean of Mean's” face. K-1 caliber striking was showcased in the Strikeforce cage that night! Even though Mousasi didn't get the W, it was clear who was dominated that night.
Disappointment of the Night – The unanimous draw between Mousasi and Jardine. It was clear who was winning that fight and for it to end that way wasn't right.
Photo: Esther Lin for STRIKEFORCE