Friday, April 8, 2011

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Preview

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Preview

Saturday April 9, 2011

San Diego, California

Valley View Casino Center


Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley – Strikeforce Welterweight Championship Bout

Paul Daley has been doing a lot of talking leading up to the Main Event of Saturday night’s event. He says he intends to knockout Nick Diaz, take his Title and use the victory as leverage for getting more money and possibly get himself back into the UFC. That is easier said than done. Nick Diaz is well known for methodically picking apart his opponents slowly. Diaz has the advantage of being the more well rounded Mixed Martial Artist of the two and I think that will prove honest after the first round.

Nick Diaz is very well versed in Boxing as a he is a high volume puncher and seems to never get tired during his time Strikeforce which has seen him go undefeated against some of the best strikers in the game. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt and is capable of winning this fight anywhere if it hits the floor.

Daley is pretty one dimensional in that he has a very good punchers chance in knocking out Diaz should this become a firefight. He has beaten Scott Smith, Marvin Knampman and Dustin Hazlett all by TKO or KO and looked impressive in doing so. His downside is that he struggles with ground technicians and submission grapplers. Diaz clearly has the advantage on the floor. Daley has also missed weight on a few occasions as well so the cut to 170 cut also be a factor for him.

Prediction: Nick Diaz via TKO (Round 2)

Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri – Strikeforce Lightweight Championship Bout

This will be the second meeting between these two. Melendez scored a Unanimous Decision victory over Kawajiri at Pride FC Shockwave 2006. It was a closely contested affair and I think Gilbert has grown to the point where he will be able to finish Kawajiri this time out. He has looked unstoppable since his loss to Josh Thomson in 2008. Ironically, Kawajiri’s last victory came against Thomson at K-1’s Dynamite event this past December. Melendez has not fought since April of last year but I don’t think that will hold him back as he is a part of the Gracie Scrap Pack and is constantly in the gym with some of the best in the game.

Prediction: Melendez via TKO (Round 3)

Keith Jardine vs. Gegard Mousasi – Light Heavyweight Bout

Jardine comes into this bout literately on a one week’s notice. Mousasi is the former Strikeforce LHW Champion and will be looking to make a very good impression on the new Zuffa owned Strikeforce management. Although Jardine is very unpredictable due to his herky jerky striking style and is as game as they come. Mousasi is still my pick to win the fight. He had been training for Mike Pyle until he got injured and Jardine won’t really be looking to take this fight to the ground (for the most part). Mousasi is has K-1 level striking and I think that ability plays right into Jardine’s downfall on Saturday night. A motivated Gegard Mousasi is very dangerous on the feet and he’ll be able to keep it there and possibly end the fight early in the process.

Prediction: Gegard Mousasi via KO (Round 2)

Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm – Lightweight Bout

Shinya Aoki makes his second appearance for Strikeforce this weekend. Aoki is one of the top submission grapplers in the world right now. He will be facing a determined Lyle Beerbohm who is coming off the first loss of his career to Pat Healy in February. Beerbohm has also won the majority of his bouts by submission as well. This fight will come down to who can impose their will faster and take control of doing so. I believe Beerbohm will do everything in his power to keep the fight standing and try to knock out Aoki. He could also go for top control often if given the chance and try to ground and pound his way to victory. Odds are that Aoki will fail since most Japanese fighters haven’t done very well here in the States over time. He himself fell to Melendez in 2010 and got absolutely steamrolled.

Prediction: Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm via UD after 3 rounds


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