Nick Diaz and Paul Daley are set to do battle next Saturday night in what could be a barnburning showdown with the welterweight title at stake.
At yesterday’s Strikeforce: Diaz Vs Daley conference call the champion made it clear he wasn’t blown away by what Daley is going to bring to the cage on the 9th April.
“[I’m not] overly impressed with his MMA skills, as far as a well-rounded fighter, [but] it’s a good match-up. A lot of the time, you don’t get to see strikers fight each other,” Diaz stated.
To be fair Daley himself isn’t claiming to have an impressive all-round skill-set.
“”It’s not secret that I’m not a jiu-jitsu wizard, and I hate wrestlers that are just going to lay-and-pray, so my offense is to knock people out, and I’ve been very successful doing it,” the UK fighter said.
Daley’s right to point out his striking prowess, and it’ll be interesting to see how his more traditional boxing style and one-punch KO power stacks up with Diaz unorthadox, rangey, volume-punching style.
With regards to that Daley makes an interesting point that Diaz won’t enjoy a reach advantage on the night.
“I’m sure Cesar Gracie, knows for a fact that I have monkey-like arms. My reach is actually the same as Nick Diaz. Nick’s taller than me, but his reach is the same as mine.”
While Diaz appears to be treating this as just another title fight, Daley is viewing this as a major moment in his MMA career.
“When people look back the history of MMA and the history of British MMA fighters, they’ll remember me as being the first guy that won a major U.S. title. I’ll always be there in history.”
And if he does defeat Diaz he’s clearly already entertained the idea of what it could mean to his bank balance.
“As far as my bargaining power when I become Strikeforce champion, I’ll just leave that up to my manager. But I saw Nick Diaz’s purse in his last fight, and I would be asking for that kind of money. I know he’s probably not driving a Honda no more, so let’s just say that.”
Meanwhile, Diaz is more interested in the recent rule change implemented by Zuffa when they took over Strikeforce which brings it into line with the UFC by allowing elbow strikes on the mat.
It’s a change that the Stockton native doesn’t appear overly thrilled about.
“I like (the old strikeforce rules of banning elbows on the ground) because it just reminds me of the way the Pride rules used to be. The elbows just kind of help (a wrestler) so that they’re not going to stand the fight up, he just throws those short elbows. And then it’s cutting me up, and I’m not getting paid as much as boxers are. I’m just looking (out for) everybody’s best interest.”