Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock will return to action against Nick Diaz (18-7) in a 179-pound catch weight match that will headline the promotion's show scheduled for the HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif., on April 11.
Shamrock today made the rumored main event official during a conference call to promote the event.
"Nick Diaz is a guy who throws hands, talks trash and I’m going to knock him out on April 11," Shamrock said when confirming the bout.
Since purchasing select assets from the defunct Pro Elite organization last week, which included a number of valuable fighter contracts, as well as inking a new deal with the premium cable network Showtime to air 16 live events, the San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion Strikeforce has been hard at work piecing together the first event of 2009.
And it's one the company's Web site -- StrikeforceUSA.net -- is calling "the greatest fight card in Strikeforce history."
So far so good … and we’re less than one week removed from the blockbuster announcement.
Shamrock -- who defeated Diaz’ mentor Cesar Gracie in just 21 seconds back in 2006 – is coming off more than a full year on the sidelines. He has been on the shelf since a third round technical knockout loss to current Strikeforce champion Cung Le last March, during which his forearm was shattered blocking a head kick.
Diaz, on the other hand, has fought three times during that time, winning all three matches by technical knockout.
Weight could play a factor in this match, but so too might ring rust. Either way, both of these guys are very experienced and technically sound mixed martial artists. This should be a very compelling match-up for a card that is shaping up very nicely.
Diaz's last six fights since leaving the UFC have all been lightweight bouts, while Shamrock has been competing at 185-pound in the middleweight division. There will certainly be a size advantage for Shamrock, who is a former UFC light heavyweight champion.
Regardless, Diaz has done well in the past as a welterweight and even holds a knockout win over the last reigning Elite XC middleweight champion, Robbie Lawler. He'll no doubt be ready to fight at any weight, as well as do his fair of trash talking leading up to April 11
Let the war of words begin.