Diaz Set To Defend 170 Pound Title Against Evangelista Cyborg Jan. 29 Live on SHOWTIME® From HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
NEW YORK (Dec. 28, 2010) – STRIKEFORCE World Welterweight Champion and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt Nick Diaz (23-7, 1 NC) has signed a new, multi-year agreement with the San Jose, Calif. based world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my career with STRIKEFORCE,” said the dynamic 27-year-old Diaz, a protégé of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Cesar Gracie and resident of Stockton, Calif. “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.”
Of late, the 6-foot-1 Diaz has been unstoppable, winning his last eight matchups. In his last effort, he settled a three-year old score with arch-nemesis K.J. Noons, out-striking Noons en route to a five-round unanimous decision at HP Pavilion in San Jose last Oct. 9.
Five months prior to the victory over Noons, the no-nonsense Diaz, one of MMA’s most intriguing figures, ventured to Saitama, Japan, to face top-ranked rival Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in a DREAM promoted affair. To the surprise of many, the southpaw Diaz made quick work of Sakurai, submitting the Japanese fighter with an armbar at the 3:54 mark of the first round.
Diaz was crowned the first STRIKEFORCE MMA welterweight champion in history last Jan. 30 after he scored a thunderous first round (4:38) TKO on rising star Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis with an onslaught of punches at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Diaz’s next challenge and second title defense is set for Sat., Jan. 29 when he will square off with Brazilian powerhouse Evangelista Cyborg (18-13) in the main event of a stacked STRIKEFORCE fight card at HP Pavilion, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its "Shamrock vs. Gracie" event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose's HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with "Shamrock vs. Gracie." In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.