They shall be dialing 911 with vigor at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on Saturday night, with the stated emergency ranging from either a frantic “send an ambulance!” to a terrified “send the riot police!” That’s right, Strikeforce is coming to the 619 area code with one of their bigger shows, and in the main event, welterweight champ Nick “post-fight gang assault” Diaz and challenger Paul “post-fight suckerpuncher” Daley will be throwing down in bout that will likely continue long after the referee says it’s over. Excited to watch from the safety of your own home? You should be, as that decreases your chances of getting blasted in the face with pepper spray. But if you need more convincing, MMA Convert has got you covered with a preview.
Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley – Diaz hasn’t lost since 2007, and in the nine fights between then and now, has been so dominant, you could say the unabashed marijuana user has been “smoking the competition” (yuk-yuk). But seriously, the jiu-jitsu black belt has kicked ass so thoroughly, Strikeforce has been hard-pressed in finding him quality opponents. Luckily, Brit striker Daley was booted from the UFC for throwing some blatant fists after the bell, so Dana White’s loss is Scott Coker’s gain – and the fans, as well. For their impending meeting will likely involve about 800 punches and 400 kicks, plus blood, bruises and angry trash-talk. And that’s just during their post-fight interviews!
Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri – Strikeforce lightweight champ Melendez puts his belt on the line against a face-pounding machine in Kawajiri, and the match-up promises a lot of moving around by the American fighter and a lot of swinging at nothing by the Japanese fighter. However, all it takes is for Kawajiri to land one to stun Melendez. Will that one magic punch come? I don’t know, but as these two are both quality athletes very competent at what they do, it probably won’t be boring.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine – Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champ Mousasi is really good at knocking opponents silly but not so good at wrestling. UFC vet Jardine is not so good at wrestling, but he’s really good at getting knocked silly and then taking naps in the middle of the cage. Hey, all the credit in the world goes to Jardine for stepping in to replace an injured Mike Kyle, but it’s been a couple years since “The Dean of Mean” was competitive against a quality foe. Against the deadly striker Mousasi, the dude is going to end up sleeping.
Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm – If you let your guard down for a second, submission master Aoki will tear off one of your limbs and mail it back to you from Japan. And while Melendez managed to perform flawlessly against him last April, it’s doubtful Beerbohm will be able to duplicate that success. Does the wrestler-turned-sub savant have the skills to survive, work his mojo and wear Aoki down? Sure. But he lacks the high-level experience, and in this match-up, that could mean the difference between walking out of the cage and walking out of the cage with a severe limp.