That and more.
It was everything fight fans around the world could have dreamed of ... perhaps even better.
Strikeforce has delivered some fantastic fights this year, but the finale of their first major show under the Zuffa banner was its best yet. It was a welterweight title fight for the ages and Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz proved that he can hang with any striker in mixed martial arts.
Did he ever.
A full breakdown of this tremendous back-and-forth battle after the jump:
In typical Nick Diaz fashion, he taunted Daley from the onset of the fight, both hands at his sides, as if begging Daley to punch him in the face.
Daley leveled the champion with a big left hook and attempted to finish him with ground and pound, but the Stockton native recovered quickly and defended well on the ground.
Both men rocked each other after Diaz got to his feet and "Semtex" began exposing himself with huge telegraphed punches. Diaz found a big opening with 20 seconds left in the round and the wobbly challenger fell backwards. Diaz followed him down and convincingly threw three uncontested strikes to force the stoppage with just three seconds left in round one.
It was an insane five minutes, with both fighters finding their marks and on the verge of winning and losing.
Something must be said about Nick Diaz's ability to get in his opponent's heads. He got in Daley's face in the pre-fight staredown, taunted him early, and talked trash throughout the fight.
Daley is normally a composed striker with picture-perfect timing, but he was enraged. "Semtex" threw a haymaker so hard he nearly fell down from the momentum and he even almost cost himself a point with a soccer kick that just missed Diaz's head.
I've never seen Daley fight like that, and it's a testament to Nick Diaz's mind games.
Daley fought his heart out, so it would be a shame if Zuffa let politics get in the way and release him from his contract. I'd love to see him work his way to another title shot with the Pride of Stockton.
Honestly, who wouldn't want to see that again?
For Diaz, he's likely earned himself a long respite after three successful title defenses in six months. The Strikeforce welterweight division needs to sort itself out, anyway.
The most credible challenger for the welterweight title is undefeated Missouri wrestler Tyron Woodley, but he still needs one more big win in the division before he earns his shot.
Will a number one contender please stand up so that Diaz can knock him out ... or submit him.
Photo via Esther Lin/Strikeforce