Fans expecting to see a classic "grappler vs. striker" clash of styles in the Strikeforce: "Diaz vs. Daley" main event this weekend (Sat., April 9, 2011) may want to think twice.
At least as far as his head trainer and mentor, Cesar Gracie, is concerned, anyway.
Gracie actually predicts the his prized pupil and reigning Strikeforce welterweight champion will finish the five-round title fight in the third round via knockout.
Here's his bold prediction (via MIddleEasyTV):
"It's a good fight. I think that Nick will win by knockout, actually. Knockout. KNOCK-OUT. I'm going to predict third round knockout. [Paul Daley] has good hands, hits hard. He's aggressive. I like fighters like that because the fans like them and the way they fight. The outside stuff -- what kid of guy he is -- I don't really know him so I can't say one or the other. But I'm expecting a good fight."
Daley -- who recently notched two hellacious knockouts in his most recent fights -- has nine career losses, more than half of which (five) have ended via submission. "Semtex" has also never been stopped via strikes.
Diaz, meanwhile, taps out more than 30 percent of his opponents with some sort of slick submission. That number would likely be higher, however, the scrappy Stockton slinger often prefers to stand toe-to-toe before taking fights to the ground, seemingly as a last resort.
He does have knockout power (see Lawler, Robbie), but not on the same level as his British adversary.
Perhaps its reverse psychology on the part of Gracie. Because anything else would simply be mad ... or maybe just straight out of the 209.