Strikeforce: "Diaz vs Daley" took place tonight (April 9, 2011) from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Tonight's show boasted a double-header of championship fight's that showed the MMA world that some of the best fight talent in the game resides under the Strikeforce banner.
Cesar Gracie champions, Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz were both out to prove they were not only the best Strikeforce has to offer, but the best MMA has to offer and neither fighter disappointed.
Welterweight Champ Nick Diaz and challenger Paul Daley headed into tonight's card promising fireworks and both men kept their word -- in a big way.
Diaz put his title on the line in tonight's main event against one of the best strikers in MMA and was intent on proving his own stand up skills are elite as well.
This fight was a barn burner from start to finish with both men nearly finishing the other at multiple times while exchanging strikes at a torrid pace. Diaz was rocked a couple different times by the challenger, but he showed why he is considered one of the toughest men in the fight game and pressed on until he could land his own finishing blows.
Late in the first round Diaz unleashed a massive flurry of body shots and combo's to the head that eventually put Daley on his back where Diaz pounced and landing some bombs to get the TKO stoppage from Big John McCarthy with only seconds left in the round.
This makes 10 consecutive wins and 3 straight title defenses for the Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu standout, and it doesn't look like he will be slowing down any time soon.
Another Cesar Gracie stud who is showing no signs of slowing down is Gilbert Melendez, and tonight he might have just jumped onto the fast track to the UFC.
Melendez, coming off a year-long layoff, was looking to show tonight that he is still the top lightweight in MMA. He accomplished just that ... and more.
The champion came out unleashing vicious knees, hooks, and elbows and made short work of his opponent. Tatsuya Kawajiri was game, but Melendez was relentless and didn't stop throwing strikes long enough for Kawajiri to ever recover.
"El' Nino" finished off the fight with some vicious elbows on top and then in the post-fight interview went on to call for the unification of the UFC and Strikeforce lightweight titles. The way Melendez looked tonight I think Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar better take notice.
This is one fighter who needs to be fighting in the UFC as soon as possible.
Speaking of the UFC, Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alum and UFC veteran Keith Jardine battled Gegard Mousasi in a 205-pound scrap that lasted 3 rounds and solved little.
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champ Gegard Mousasi was looking to stake his claim tonight to become a top contender for Dan Henderson's title, but unfortunately a lost point cost him his shot.
Keith Jardine, who was a last-second replacement coming in on two weeks notice, put up a great fight, actually winning the first round on two of the judges score cards thanks to four take downs.
However, from there, it was all downhill for "The Dean of Mean."
Mousasi, who lost a point in the first round for an illegal up kick, put it on the TUF alum in the second and third rounds, out-striking the UFC veteran and almost finishing the fight.
However, tonight was not Mousasi's night and he went home with a majority draw. For now it's back to the drawing board for the former champ.
As for Jardine, he showed tonight in taking this fight at the last second and going three rounds with a top notch fighter that he still has the skills to make some noise under the Strikeforce banner.
In the opening fight of tonight's main card Lyle Beerbohm was looking to rebound from his first career loss when he took on Japanese standout Shinya Aoki in a 155-pound battle.
Unfortunately for Beerbohm, this one did not last long.
"Fancy Pants," who was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Pat Healy, was looking to get back on the horse tonight against the ultra-talented Aoki.
"The Tobikan Judan," however, wasn't having any of it. The DREAM lightweight champ took Beerbohm to the ground early on and made it look easy from there.
The submission specialist took Beerbohms back and locked in a neck crank that made Beerbohm tap his "fancy pants" to put an early end to his evening.
That makes a four-fight win streak for Aoki since losing to Gilbert Melendez and one has to believe another title shot might be coming in the near future for Aoki.
That's a wrap for us, Maniacs.
Time for you to sound off in the comments section below. Give us your thoughts on yet another action-packed Strikeforce card. Anyone in particular you were impressed with?
For complete results and blow-by-blow of all the main card action click here.