2011 27 Jan

Two world titles will be on the line when Strikeforce: “Diaz vs. Cyborg” kicks off this Saturday night (Jan. 29, 2011) from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The four-fight main card will air live on the Showtime premium cable channel, beginning at 10 p.m. ET, and you can of course watch all the action here as well.

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Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz will defend his 170-pound strap for the second time in the main event, taking on hard-hitting Brazilian knockout artist Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (the husband to female 145-pound queen Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos).

In the co-featured fight of the night, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will put his middleweight gold up for grabs opposite “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler in a grappler vs. striker match up. In addition, former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker will make his second career start as a professional mixed martial artist on the card.

That’s not all. Not even close.

To help get you better prepared for the festivities, we’ve got some quick analysis and predictions for the main card, which will hopefully get your juices flowing.

Let’s get cracking:

Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista Santos

Santos’ win-loss record isn’t anything to write home about, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous for Diaz in this fight. “Cyborg” has a ton of power on his feet and a credible jiu-jitsu background, too. A former long-time middleweight, he will also likely possess a significant strength advantage.

In short, Santos — who boats quality experience against many of the best fighters in the world, most of which come from larger weight classes — is completely capable of becoming the next Strikeforce welterweight champ on Saturday night.

But do I think that’s going to happen? No.

As far as dealing with “Cyborg’s” power, KJ Noons doesn’t exactly throw marshmallows when he punches. And he lit up Diaz with several big power shots that didn’t really seem to faze the champ all that much.

The Cesar Gracie pupil is a machine on his feet. And on the ground, strength advantage or not, I don’t see Diaz getting out-worked there, much less finished with a submission or any sort of ground and pound. He’s too crafty and too well trained.

However, Diaz may be becoming a little too overconfident in his ability to withstand punishment. If he does lose this fight, it’s possible that it comes via a button punch/kick from Santos. Still, he’s been in the cage/ring with a lot of guys with the ability to do that before, and it’s never happened.

And until someone actually does knock him out, I’ll continue to view that possibility as a long shot.

Plain and simple, Diaz is the better/smarter fighter. And he won’t be intimidated at all by Santos. He’ll do what he has to do to win this fight, and he’ll get the job done. His cardio is endless and he can finish from anywhere at anytime. I don’t see “Cyborg” being able to keep up with him for five rounds, and I think Diaz secures some type of finish before the final bell.

Keep in mind that “Cyborg” has dropped eight fights in his career via (technical) knocckout. When he’s breathing heavy in the second, third or fourth rounds, and Diaz is still peppering him with straight punches and hooks, he’ll add his ninth to that list.

Final result: Diaz via technical knockout

Ronaldo Souza vs. Robbie Lawler

All Robbie Lawler needs is a small window of opportunity. He may not be the most technical of strikers, but if he lands with his power, it’s usually lights out for his opponent.

Melvin Manhoef was brutalizing him with kicks before he tasted that power and went to sleep. Old man Matt Lindland felt it. Scott Smith knows about it. And those are just a few examples of his recent greatest hits.

“Ruthless,” however, is a “knockout or bust” type of fighter. It doesn’t happen often, but when he doesn’t get off with that power, sometimes he ends up losing decisions or getting submitted to ground fighters like “Babalu” Sobral or Jake Shields.

So a super crafty jiu-jitsu technician like “Jacare” is definitely going to try and use that to his advantage in this fight.

Souza — the Strikeforce middleweight champion — can hold his own on his feet, too, but standing with Lawler is like playing with matches near an open can of gasoline. It usually ends badly.

Souza knows this, and I expect him to try and take the challenger out of his comfort zone and into his own world of domination on the mat. If he can successfully take this fight to the ground, which I believe he can, then I think he’ll come away with some type of submission victory.

However, if Lawler’s takedown defense holds up, this could be a short and painful night for the Brazilian.

I like “Jacare’s” athleticism to be the difference maker in that key aspect of this fight. He’ll get it to the floor and then show the reason he’s the champion from there.

Final result: “Jacare” via submission

Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson

Herschel Walker is nearing 50 years old, but he says he’s in the best shape of his life — as confident as ever. The former Heisman Trophy winner pounded his way to victory in his debut fight last year against Greg Nagy.

If you’re wondering who that is, so am I.

I don’t know much about Scott Carson, either, but his resume seems to be a bit more impressive. His four wins, however, came more than nine years ago against opponents who currently have a combined record of 1-8. And his only loss, which came in his most recent start last summer, was a first round knockout to an undefeated (7-0) Lorenz Larkin.

He’s no spring chicken, either, at 40 years old.

Walker is a freak of nature kind of athlete, and he’s been training with one of the top camps in the world for a while now at American Kickboxing Academy. He deserves a ton of credit for just being able to compete as a professional athlete at his age. But if he wants to prove that he’s more than just a gimmick fighter for Strikeforce, then he’s going to have to get in there with some better competition, especially if he’s going to be on the main card.

For now, though, he’s not much more than a recognizable name that serves as good filler talent for Strikeforce to get a cheap fight in on these cards every now and then and draw some extra curious viewers. They’re not putting him in any real danger, while they can still use him.

He’ll win this fight with ground and pound unless he gets caught with some type of submission.

Final result: Herschel Walker via technical knockout

Roger Gracie vs. Trevor Prangley

As most would expect, Gracie’s stand up game isn’t anything special. But he’s lengthy, and he does a decent job using his jab to avoid danger on his feet.

On the ground, however, he’s basically unmatched in talent. He’s won several prestigious grappling tournaments around the world, and he is widely considered one of the top jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet.

Prangley has a well-respected background in his own craft, as well. He’s a stud wrestler with a solid mixed martial arts resume filled with a bunch of submission victories of his own. He’d be a fool to get into a grappling match with Gracie, though.

His best chance to win is on his feet. He has solid power there and a lot more experience trading strikes than Gracie. But, he doesn’t seem to be all that comfortable in that area. He’s more of a ground and pound specialist, which leads me to believe he’s in trouble on Saturday night.

All three of Gracie’s pro MMA fights have been against guys with similar strengths to Prangley, and he has submitted each of them inside the first two rounds. I expect a similar result in this one.

Final result: Gracie via submission

Published under Newssend this post
2011 25 Jan
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World Welterweight (170 pounds) Champion Nick Diaz (23-7, 1 NC) will make his second title defense when he faces Brazilian powerhouse Evangelista Cyborg (18-13) in main event action and STRIKEFORCE World Middleweight (185 pounds) Champion Jacare Souza (13-2, 1 NC) will put his belt on the line for the first time when he squares off with power-punching knockout artist “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6, 1 NC) in the co-main event of a stacked Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

In other featured televised fights on SHOWTIME, football legend and MMA upstart, the incredible Herschel Walker (1-0) will return to the cage to face Scott Carson (4-1) in a heavyweight bout. The latest prospect from MMA’s first family, undefeated Roger Gracie (3-0), will battle former South African national wrestling champion and MMA star Trevor Prangley (23-6-1) at light heavyweight (205 pounds).

Published under Newssend this post
2011 10 Jan
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Nick Diaz and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos square off on January 29.

Nick Diaz defends his welterweight title against Evangelista Cyborg and Jacare Souza puts his middleweight crown on the line against former two-time world champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.

Also on the card, Roger Gracie takes on Trevor Prangley, and football legend Herschel Walker returns to MMA.

2011 4 Jan

Ariel Helwani, the man with the microphone.

This pair of videos brings back some of the best and worst moments in MMA from 2010. In case you were wondering, Nick Diaz and Chael Sonnen pretty much steal the show for better or for worse…

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2010 30 Dec

The Best of Strikeforce for 2010

BEST KNOCKOUT:

Paul Daley KOs Scott Smith

2:09 of Round 1

December 4, 2010 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu

BEST SUBMISSION:

Fabricio Werdum submits Fedor Emelianenko

1:09 of Round 1

June 26, 2010 at Strikeforce & M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum

RISING STAR:

Tyron Woodley

Fedor Emelianenko Submitted By Fabricio WerdumBEST UPSET:

Fabricio Werdum submits Fedor Emelianenko

1:09 of Round 1

June 26, 2010 at Strikeforce & M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum

BEST FEMALE FIGHTER:

Cris “Cyborg” Santos

BEST MALE FIGHTER:

Nick Diaz

BEST FIGHT 2010:

Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons

October 9, 2010 at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II

2010 29 Dec

Diaz Will Defend 170 Pound Title Against Evangelista Cyborg Jan. 29 Live on SHOWTIME® From HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Nick Diaz won’t be joining the UFC in the near future, at least that’s the way it looks as of yesterday.

STRIKEFORCE World Welterweight Champion and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt Nick Diaz (23-7, 1 NC) has signed a new, multi-year agreement with the San Jose, Calif. based world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my career with STRIKEFORCE,” said the dynamic 27-year-old Diaz, a protégé of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Cesar Gracie and resident of Stockton, Calif. “When I first got here, there weren’t a lot of great 170 pound fighters for me to fight, but that’s definitely changed. There’s a lot of really good fighters in the division now and I’m ready to fight anyone who thinks they can beat me.”

Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz overcame huge odds to take out Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33

Of late, the 6-foot-1 Diaz has been unstoppable, winning his last eight matchups. In his last effort, he settled a three-year old score with arch-nemesis K.J. Noons, out-striking Noons en route to a five-round unanimous decision at HP Pavilion in San Jose last Oct. 9.

Five months prior to the victory over Noons, the no-nonsense Diaz, one of MMA’s most intriguing figures, ventured to Saitama, Japan, to face top-ranked rival Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in a DREAM promoted affair. To the surprise of many, the southpaw Diaz made quick work of Sakurai, submitting the Japanese fighter with an armbar at the 3:54 mark of the first round.

Diaz was crowned the first STRIKEFORCE MMA welterweight champion in history last Jan. 30 after he scored a thunderous first round (4:38) TKO on rising star Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis with an onslaught of punches at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Diaz’s next challenge and second title defense is set for Sat., Jan. 29 when he will square off with Brazilian powerhouse Evangelista Cyborg (18-13) in the main event of a stacked STRIKEFORCE fight card at HP Pavilion, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

2010 22 Dec
Nick Diaz sucker punches Jason Mayhem Miller

Nick Diaz sucker punches Jason Mayhem Miller

Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz has found an opponent.

Diaz is now set to defend his title against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in the main event of Strikeforce’s January 29 event in San Jose, California after a matchup with rival Jason “Mayhem” Miller recently fell through for the Showtime-televised card.

A rubber match between Miller and fellow middleweight contender Tim Kennedy is now unlikely for the event, perhaps to cut down on post-fight shenanigans.

Diaz, now 23-7, easily stopped KJ Noons in October to defend the 170-pound title and avenge a loss from 2007. It was the Stockton fighter’s eighth-straight win.

Santos, now 18-13,  scored a first-round knockout of Marius Zaromskis in his welterweight debut in June.

The Strikeforce fight card also features middleweight champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Robbie Lawler and Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson.

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