Strikeforce have today announced a major piece of business – convincing their current welterweight champion Nick Diaz to commit to a new multi-year deal with the promotion.

The 27 year-old is currently gearing-up to defend his title against Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos at Strikeforce’s first major event of 2011 on January 29th.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my career with Strikeforce,” Diaz said of the deal.  “When I first got here, there weren’t a lot of great 170-pound fighters for me to fight, but that’s definitely changed. There’s a lot of really good fighters in the division now and I’m ready to fight anyone who thinks they can beat me.”

Overall it’s a great bit of business by Strikeforce, but it seems a surprising move on Diaz part given that the UFC are also known to be admirers of the often controversial, but undoubtedly talented fighter who’s currently riding an eight-fight winning streak.

Diaz himself had gone on record in recent months stating that he wanted to fight the best in the business, naming fighters like current UFC 170lb champion Georges St.Pierre on his wishlist.

With all due respect to Strikeforce they don’t have that level of competition to offer the Stockton native, despite his comments to the contrary today.

The fact that his next opponent has a career record of 18-13 tells it’s own story, and though a potential fight with ex-UFC fighter Paul Daley certainly whets the appetite, it’s difficult to see many challenges for him beyond that in the welterweight division.

It is however likely that his new deal will still allow him to compete for DREAM as well, and further foray’s into the 185lb division or catchweight fights could also be on the cards to keep him occupied.