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Here’s everything that happened at #PaulDiaz last night

Last night (Sat., Aug. 5, 2023), Nate Diaz and Jake Paul finally met inside the ring on DAZN pay-per-view (PPV) from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Obviously, the biggest appeal of the card was the bad blood-fueled grudge match between super stars in the main event, but the rest of the event was surprising decent. Highly-decorated champion, Amanda Serrano, returned for a rematch with Heather Hardy, while Jeremy Stephens brawled with Diaz trainee, Chris Avila, to round out the top of the card.

Let’s take a look at the night’s standout performances:

Jake Paul v Nate Diaz Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Proper Preparation

Paul was ready for Nate Diaz last night (watch highlights). That was not the man who was out-hustled by Tommy Fury, fatigued by round four in a fairly low-volume fight. No, Paul was ready for deep waters, and he made Diaz walk through a ton of punishment to even get him to that position.

He just fought really well. Early on, Paul battered Diaz with his speed and power advantages, but he never forgot to work the body. He rocked him badly in the first then dropped him in the fifth frame. Even when Paul chased the finish, he did so without forgetting who was in the ring opposite him. Later in the fight, Paul showed real composure. He mitigated Diaz’s offense well, moving his feet and utilizing a high guard to nullify any would-be Diaz rally. During Diaz’s best rounds, Paul still managed to land some decent counter punches and keep his opponent honest.

Diaz, for his part, landed enough to make for a fun fight. He also wrapped up a guillotine in the tenth round (see it here), setting the stage for an MMA rematch? I’d love to see it.

Jake Paul v Nate Diaz Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

A Display Of Incredible Heart

Heather Hardy, 41, was woefully out-gunned by Amanda Serrano. It was clear to anyone who watched the first fight in 2015, and it was clear within just seconds of their rematch last night (watch highlights).

Serrano walked into the center of the ring and just pummeled Hardy. For about 60 full seconds, she ripped left hooks and uppercuts to the body with impunity. Hardy would fire back and even land, but it didn’t matter to Serrano. She didn’t feel those shots, not like Hardy. Then, she took her punches upstairs, badly stunning her older opponent.

The fight could’ve ended within a couple rounds, and nobody would’ve batted an eye. Instead, Hardy hung tough, always throwing back enough to keep the referee away from her. She never won a round or even landed a shot that backed Serrano off, but she still managed to put on a courageous performance.

Sometimes, that’s the best you can hope for.

Jake Paul v Nate Diaz Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Avila > Aldo

Was anyone else surprised to see Chris Avila style on Jeremy Stephens? To my memory, Avila has never impressed, but he flipped that script last night, beating Stephens up across all six rounds to pick up a clear decision win.

It was really a matter of comfort in the ring. Avila knew how to keep his feet under him, hide behind his lead shoulder, and touch his opponent without committing all of his weight. Stephens didn’t, and as a result, he couldn’t really compete with Avila. Avila just kept touching him, which exhausted Stephens, then Avila stuck him with some hard crosses and hooks. Certainly, it’s the best win of Avila’s combat sports career. He boxed up Stephens far more effectively than Jose Aldo!

As for Stephens, it was a good reminder that his Featherweight resurgence had little to do with boxing. He’s a brawler with a mean calf kick, and neither skill is particularly useful in the ring.

Jake Paul v Nate Diaz Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

A Lovely Liver Shot

Ashton Sylve smoked William Silva to deliver the first finish of the evening (watch highlights). Speed is to be expected from an undefeated 19-year-old prospect, but Sylva also brought a veteran’s composure into the ring with him. He very calmly skirted around the ring, touched his jab, and picked up reads. The opening he found turned out to be the left hook to the liver. Time and time again, Sylve hid the blow behind his right hand. It floored Silva in the second then finished him for good in the fourth frame.

Sylve made the most of his showcase on a high-profile event and surely picked up a few fans in the process!

Jake Paul v Nate Diaz Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Good Old Mexican Boxing

Sometimes, clichés are clichés because there’s truth to them. Mexican boxing is a great example! Pit two Mexican boxers opposite one another, and what does everyone expect to happen? A close-quarters war with lots of body punching. Sure enough, that’s what happened when Alan Sanchez and Angel Beltran opened the main card.

Here’s another cliché: the older veteran’s experience making the difference in a close fight. Once more, it happened here! Sanchez was the sharper man even in the face of Beltran’s aggression. He allowed Beltran to come to him, but he met his offense with sharp jabs and good defensive movement. Even so, the pair were so bloody by the end of the second that it looked like a full fight had already taken place.

The action continued, ebbing and flowing in either man’s favor. Beltran showed great toughness and heart, but it just wasn’t the 27-year-old prospect’s night.

For complete Paul vs. Diaz results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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