Winning his 10th bout in a row, Nick Diaz defended his Strikeforce welterweight championship belt, winning a first-round TKO over Paul Daley in an action-packed bout in the main event in San Diego on Saturday.
After initial taunting from Diaz, Daley took the bait. He dropped Diaz with a series of strikes, then followed up with a kick to the body. Diaz survived and stood up, then came back and had Daley pinned against the cage. Diaz threw punch after punch, hurting Daley along the way. Daley tried for a takedown, which wasn’t a bright move since Diaz is a jiu-jitsu whiz.
They returned to their feet, and neither fighter stopped throwing strikes for much of the first round. Daley dropped Diaz with a left hook and then jumped into Diaz’s guard. Diaz kicked Daley off, and then was stood back up by referee John McCarthy. Diaz finally took over, using strikes to the body and head to knock Daley to the ground, then finished up with ground strikes. McCarthy jumped in and stopped the fight at 4:57, giving Diaz the win.
After the win, Diaz was noncommittal about who he would like to fight next.
"I don’t know. We’ve got to see what’s up," Diaz said.
Diaz didn’t ask for the unification bout like his teammate Gilbert Melendez did. Diaz’s teammate Jake Shields is fighting Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight belt at the end of April. Though Diaz has said that he wants GSP, if Shields were to win, Diaz would be put in the awkward position of having to fight a teammate.
Daley is already in an awkward position, as he was released from his UFC contract for throwing a punch in his bout with Josh Koscheck. Now, with the UFC and Strikeforce having the same ownership, Daley’s future is less sure. A win over Diaz could have strengthened it, but now he drops to 27-10-2.