Nick Diaz came out on top against a game ‘Cyborg’ Santos this evening in a hard fought battle to retain his welterweight title.
Cyborg started off strongly in the first round, quickly finding his range and then firing off some vicious leg kicks, many of them landed solidly. Diaz pressed forward regardless but those must have hurt badly and could take their toll later in the fight.
After a slow start, mid-way through the round Diaz started to find his own range and began peppering Cyborg with punches, and in particular his jab as he has done to so many of his opponents successfully in the past. His accuracy was first class and the Brazilian appeared dazed with the sheer volume of strikes coming his way.
In the second round Cyborg remains determined and focused, and continued to effectively land leg strikes and was winging punches with bad intentions. Diaz appeared to be pacing himself though, putting pressure on his adversary but not going all out on the offensive, perhaps trying to wear down Cyborg’s gas tank.
It seemed like a solid strategy, though Cyborg continued to pose a threat landed some meaningful blows in the mean time, and the repeated leg kicks could cause Diaz problems of his own in the later rounds.
Then as the clock ticked down there was a moment of madness from Cyborg. After attempting a spinning kick he suddenly opted to take Diaz down to the ground. Diaz immediately used that to showcase his BJJ prowess, quickly positioning himself for an armbar, and with just 10 seconds left in the round he used it to sweep him and force the tap.
Cyborg pounds the canvas in frustration at his error, while Diaz wheels away to celebrate another successful title defense and 9th win in a row.
All credit to Cyborg who really gave Diaz a run for his money here on the feet. Diaz showed tremendous heart and conditioning though, taking some solid shots and strength sapping leg kicks during this fight but never took a backwards step, and did very well to switch gears when the fight hit the floor.