Diaz Not Impressed by Strikeforce Welterweight Contenders


Nick Diaz | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


Nick Diaz offered little in the way of trash talk in the lead-up to his Strikeforce welterweight title defense against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. After submitting the Brazilian with a second-round armbar on Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., the generally brazen 27-year-old refused to attribute that fact to some newfound sophistication and reiterated his respect for Santos.

“Everybody thinks I’ve matured and grown up, but it’s just how it is,” a serene Diaz said at the post-fight press conference for Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg.”

“I have respect for fighters that come out and fight,” the champion said of Santos. “He wasn’t trying to score and run. He was coming straight forward and trying to fight. I give a guy like that a lot of respect. It has nothing to do with me growing older.”

Prior to the fight-ending submission, Diaz and Santos engaged in a hard-hitting dogfight, which saw Cyborg rack up chopping leg kicks while Diaz scored with his trademark volume boxing style. When Diaz’s strikes began to take their toll, Santos took the fight to the floor -- something Diaz expected from the jump and was prepared to capitalize on.

“I did see him taking me down from taking too many punches. I did figure I’d be able to ladder up and finish an armlock or a triangle choke on a guy like that,” said Diaz. “I think I put on a decent performance. Cyborg is a really worthy opponent. It’s not like this guy is some joke.”

But while Diaz heaped praise upon his just-dispatched challenger, he had few positive words for those potentially in line for a shot at his title.

Next up for Diaz looks to be British slugger Paul Daley, who is first booked for a Feb. 26 bout with Deep champion Yuya Shirai in Manchester, England. In his most recent Strikeforce outing, Daley notched a scorching knockout of Scott Smith, whom Diaz submitted last June.

“I’m not really impressed with Paul Daley as a mixed martial artist,” said Diaz. “He’s got great stand-up, sure, [but] I wouldn’t judge him from the Scott Smith fight.”

Diaz went on to criticize Smith, a fellow Californian, for what he sees as a lack of desire to improve as a fighter.

“I know who Scott Smith is. I’m from Stockton, Lodi. He’s from Elk Grove. He’s never come down to train with us. He’s never tried to get better,” Diaz said. “He does his tae bo, or whatever, you know what I mean? Then Paul Daley knocks him out and everybody is like, ‘Look at Paul Daley!’”

And how would Diaz approach a fight with Daley?

“I just might do some karate ... some wushu,” Diaz deadpanned before offering a dispassionate breakdown of the matchup. “I see me putting punches on him, maybe him trying to take me down, getting caught in a choke. He can run from me. I’d run him down and take him down and beat him on the ground. I dunno.”

Diaz, who signed a multi-year contract extension with Strikeforce in December, seemed similarly disinterested in a match against unbeaten up-and-comer Tyron Woodley, who has won six straight inside the Strikeforce cage.

“I don’t wanna talk bad about anybody. I don’t really have anything about him that impresses me,” he said of the two-time NCAA Div. I All-American. “I didn’t think he was a wrestler, but then I heard he was a wrestler. It was like, ‘OK.’”

So, the question seems to be: what opponent would Diaz want to fight?

“I’m interested in fighting people ranked above me and upping my status, but, whatever,” he said. “I fight for [Strikeforce CEO] Scott Coker here, and they’ll have to work that out here.”

Jordan Breen contributed to this report.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 64 views

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz has a tall task ahead of him when he welcomes ex-UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva back to the Octagon on January 31, but his head coach can e read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 44 views

A revised strategy, perhaps, for the new, improved, and non-violent Diaz? Between Anderson Silva's pantomiming and Nick Diaz's shit talking, we could have ourselves a two-man comedy act for the main read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 98 views

Former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz discussed his UFC 183 fight against Anderson Silva on a conference call with the media Wednesday afternoon. Check out the complete audio above. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

On this edition of Shameless MMA, the guys talk with UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis. "The Black Beast" will be facing off against the "Meathead," Matt Mitrione on Sept. 5 at UFC Fight Night Foxwoods. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 18 views

Nick Diaz has said over and over that he'd really only wants to fight superfights or for titles. He was granted a superfight with Anderson Silva and, if he wins, he could get a title shot. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 88 views

UFC President Dana White revealed that Anderson Silva is “chomping at the bit” to return to the octagon and that Nick Diaz could potentially fight for a title with a win over the division’s former ki read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 200 views

Nick Diaz has not won a mixed martial arts (MMA) match since Oct. 2011, when he beat B.J. Penn from pillar to post en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 137. Back-to-back losses since then, as read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 28 views

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is as high as a 4-to-1 favorite vs. Nick Diaz, one day after the fight was formally announced by the UFC. In case you've been on an internet and televi read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 108 views

In this week’s Trading Shots, former UFC/WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss Nick Diaz’s recent comments recommending against an MMA career. Is he right? And doe read news >>