After seizing victory in an exciting title fight with Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos this evening in San Jose, what comes next for one of Strikeforce’s biggest stars, Nick Diaz?
The most likely option is that he will defend his 170lb title again against former UFC star Paul Daley who impressed in his Strikeforce debut with a first round KO win over Scott Smith in December.
Daley was guaranteed the title shot, but he’s now put that at risk by accepting a fight outside the promotion at BAMMA 5 in February against DEEP champion Yuya Shirai. Strikeforce now say that Daley will only get the shot if he wins that fight.
Assuming he does win then this should be an easy fight for the promotion to put together, and it’s a good one. Daley is as technical a striker as Diaz has fought in quite some time, and also has the power crack even to the Stockton native’s granite chin. Of course Daley’s weakness is on the ground, so if he’s not careful he could end up the same way as Cyborg did tonight.
The other option is a catch-weight grudge match with Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller. There’s been numerous back and forth exchanges between the two since they first clashed in the aftermath of Strikeforce: Nashville last year, and if Strikeforce could get them to agree to fight, which they are keen to do, then it would generate a great deal of interest for them.
Unfortunately the two fighter’s can’t agree on the terms for such a contest to come together. Scott Coker had originally intended to put this fight on tonight, but talks broke down over issues like money and weight.
At this stage it appears to now be a stalemate between the two, and with Daley waiting in the wings it makes sense to do that fight first and then come back to this dispute later in the year.
One final note: Outside of the cage there’s also the prospect that at some stage this year Diaz is going to fight in the boxing ring. Some big name fighters have been mentioned by the fighter himself for this, with Fernando Vergas in particular standing out from the pack. The boxer seems interested in the possibility but it remains to be seen whether terms could be established to make this fight a reality.