After an intense staredown at last night’s weigh-ins, both Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nick Diaz and his opponent Paul Daley are ready for action. Tonight, Strikeforce is live with a championship double header from the Valley View Casino in San Diego, California. Also co-headlining this card, Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez takes on Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Our live event coverage begins with here at 10 PM ET when the show goes live on Showtime. We will also have a running results thread here for those matches that do not make broadcast and to provide quick results.
Hello again, this is Chris Roberts coming to you live from Queens as Strikeforce comes to you live from San Diego, California.
To open the show Mauro Ranallo interview Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker about the recent sale of the company to Zuffa. He is there pretty much to just peddle the party line about how Strikeforce and the UFC are remaining separate entities and that ultimately the fans are the big winners here because Strikeforce now has the marketing muscle and know how behind them.
Shinya Aoki (26-5) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (16-1)
Round 1– Beerbohm shoots and ties Aoki up against the cage. Ranallo referring to Aoki as the DREAM lightweight champion and Gus Johnson oversells Beerbohm’s backstory. Aoki takes down Beerbohm and slides around to his back. He quickly gets a rear naked choke and neck crank. Beerbohm fights it off for a few moments but there is a reason Aoki is considered one of the best submission artists ever. Beerbohm submits giving him his second consecutive loss.
Shinya Aoki def. Lyle Beerbohm via Submission (Neck Crank), Round 1 (1:33)
Keith Jardine (17-9-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (30-3-1)
Round 1– Jardine seems to be extra aware of his weakness for left hooks keeping his guard extra high over there. Quick takedown for Jardine but Mousasi stands right up out of it. Body kick from Jardine gets through. Leg kick from Jardine seems to hurt Mousasi. Little boxing, Mousasi works his way through it and gets Jardine into the clinch. Jardine turns it around, works very very hard and gets Mousasi back on the mat. Mousasi stands up but Jardine slowly slams him back down to the mat. He’s unable to do anything there so Jardine lets him stand. Mousasi hits a big right. Jardine looks exhausted. Mousasi sense it and starts stalking him across the cage landing big shots. Jardine though gets a badly needed takedown. While Mousasi is trying to stand up he lands an up kick while Jardine is still technically a grounded opponent. Jardine takes advantage to recover and the ref deducts one point from Mousasi. Once the action starts a slugfest ensues. Mousasi is getting the better of it but Jardine is able to land a nice knee. Jardine, as if you ddn’t already know, is bleeding from multiple points on his face. The round ends. 10-8 Jardine thanks to the point deduction.
Round 2- Nice leg kick from Jardine to start. Jardine shoots, misses and Mousasi goes for a chokehold. Blood now coming out of Jardine’s nose. Tentative boxing from both parties. Jardine’s face is now covered in blood and I really haven’t seen Mousasi do all that much damage. Jardine goes for a takedown but again is stuffed. Mousasi hits a nice jab. Jardine gets another takedown against the cage that undoubtedly cost him all sorts of energy. Mousasi uses the butterfly guard to escape Jardine’s ground and pound. Jabs from Mousasi. Mousasi hits a nice flurry near the end of the round that staggers Jardine. Jardine grabs at the waist just to stay alive but is able to turn it into a takedown. Mousasi, once again, is able to stand up almost at will. Jab from Mousasi and the round ends. 10-9 Mousasi.
Round 3- As the round opens Jardine takes a low blow and once again the action is stopped. Doesn’t seem to be a bad one and action starts up quickly. Nice left hook from Jardine. Jardine goes for a takedown but Mousasi isn’t letting him have it. Mousasi gets his own takedown and his has authority behind it. Jardine stands up but eats a shot. Mousasi gets him down again and starts to utilize the now legal grounded elbows. Mousasi is have success at keeping Jardine down. Jardine does however use the cage to kick off of and get off the ground. Stand up but Mousasi is owning the striking battle. Mousasi’s mouthguard falls out causing another stoppage in the action. Big right from Mousasi and another and a big kick. Mousasi gets a slow takedown but Jardine starts to work on a kimura. Mousasi has none of it and again starts in on an elbow based ground and pound. The announce team is acting as though Mousasi has the fight in the bag but I think they may be overlooking that first round point deduction. Mousasi keeps a beaten down Jardine on the matWith ten seconds left Jardine rolls as though he is going for an armbar but cannot pull it off and the fight ends. 10-9 Mousasi. The fight ends in a 28-28 draw on the Inside Fights scorecard.
Keith Jardine and Gegard Mousasi fight to a Majority Draw (29-27 Mousasi, 28-28, 28-28)
Gilbert Melendez (18-2) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2) for the Strikeforce Lightweight Title
Round 1– Cecil Peoples taking on referee duties for this matchup, interesting. Kawajiri comes in for a strike, misses, and gets hit with a massive right that nearly knocks him out. Melendez keeps up the intensity, rocking Kawajiri with his boxing skills.. Big knee from Melendez and follows with a crazy burst of strikes. Kawajiri is in huge trouble, stumbling around the cage. Melendez capitalizes by taking him down and taking his back. Kawajiri stands up but Melendez still has him tied up and is hitting him with knees and uppercuts. Big elbow to the head of Kawajiri. The action slows and boxing ensues. Melendez is in such a different league. He hits him with with a series of punches and elbows until finally Peoples steps in and stops the fight. Is Melendez officially the new #1 Lightweight in the world? Food for thought as he decimated Kawajiri here.
Gilbert Melendez def. Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (Strikes), Round 1 (3:14)
Nick Diaz (24-7) vs. Paul Daley (27-9-2) for the Strikeforce Welterweight Title
Round 1– John McCarthy will be the third man in the cage. Diaz daring Daley to hit him early on…OK. Jab jab from Diaz. Hook from Daley drops Diaz, Daley drops down and starts to wail away, Diaz keeps awake and the fight continues. Daley stays hot on his trail, but Diaz keeps alive and they break apart. Jab from Diaz and he follows with shots to the body. Daley goes for a knee from the clinch, misses, Diaz starts to unload and now Daley looks to be in trouble. Daley in survival mode gets the takedown. Diaz pulls Daley into the guard. Daley stands up. Diaz gets a beautiful shot in. Slugfest from these two nasty strikers. Elbow from Diaz, Daley hits Diaz on the button and Diaz goes down face first. Daley goes for the ground and pound but Diaz stays alive. Daley gets on top and Diaz pulls guard again. Stand up with 30 seconds remaining. Diaz starts to unload and Daley looks rocked. He returns fire a little but Daley’s knee buckles and he falls backwards. Diaz pounces and goes for the stoppage with 10 seconds left. Miraculously he gets it and retains his title.
Nick Diaz def. Paul Daley via TKO (strikes), Round 1 (4:57)
That was just about the best one round fight you could ever hope for and something to think about going forward is whether or not Dana White is going to find it necessary to keep his feud with Paul Daley going considering just how damn entertaining was tonight. It always makes sense to have a hated heel on the roster and Daley plays that role just about as good as anybody.
That is all for tonight, join the staff of Inside Fights tonight on Up Too Late and stayed tuned here for more news and commentary on this card and others in the coming hours, days and weeks.
Tags: Gegard Mousasi, Gilbert Melendez, Keith Jardine, Lyle Beerbohm, Mixed Martial Arts, Nick Diaz, Paul Daley, Shinya Aoki, Strikeforce, Tatsuya Kawajiri