Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:08 a.m.
- Teammates open Strikeforce’s Zuffa age with a bang
- Strikeforce live results: Nick Diaz scores first-round TKO over Paul Daley
- Strikeforce weigh-in blog: Paul Daley starts brief yelling match after making weight
- Keith Jardine returns to big stage as late replacement on Strikeforce card
- Strikeforce lightweight champion excited by possibilities after UFC purchase
- UFC/Strikeforce Notebook: Diaz and Daley keeping abnormally quiet
- First major Strikeforce card with new ownership features UFC castoffs
- All MMA/boxing coverage
SAN DIEGO — A lot of Nick Diaz’s supporters stressed the importance of fighting “smart” against British knockout king Paul Daley heading into their Saturday bout.
Dropping his hands, sticking out his chin and shouting at Daley at the beginning of the fight probably wasn’t what they had in mind for the champion.
“It could have been a little cleaner for me,” Diaz said. “I think I was still pumped up from the weigh-in. It could have been working with me or against me.”
Diaz insisted he had no intentions to come into the bout and act like that, but Daley’s actions at Friday’s weigh-in changed everything. Daley threw down the hat he was wearing and yelled into Diaz’s face during their stare down photo.
“We were fine until he got all hype-y at the weigh-in,” Diaz said. “I don’t want to come off that way and I’m not exactly sure what happened out there.”
It’s not the first time Diaz has trash-talked an opponent while in the cage. In fact, it’s a frequent method of his. But this fight felt different after Diaz said nothing negative about Daley all week.
Diaz stated that he respected Daley’s knockout power and would act accordingly, but that never came to fruition. It worked out fine for Diaz anyway, who said his talk could have helped contribute to his TKO victory at the end of the first round.
“I think it really threw him off a little bit,” Diaz said. “He didn’t have anything to say to me.”
Mousasi and Jardine OK with draw decision
Usually a draw is accompanied by the fighters involved making pleas for why the judges should have awarded them the decision.
Neither Gegard Mousasi nor Keith Jardine did that after their light heavyweight majority draw. One judge gave Mousasi a 29-27 victory, while the other two scored it 28-28.
“It probably was the right decision,” Mousasi said.
Mousasi lost a point in the first round for an illegal kick to Jardine, who had his knees on the ground. That point proved the difference between a draw and unanimous decision win for the former Strikeforce champion.
All three judges had the first round 9-9 and two gave Jardine the second 10-9.
“I felt pretty good about the first two rounds,” Jardine said. “I clearly lost the third round. I thought at that point, I had a good shot but a decision is a decision. I’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of split decisions, so I wasn’t letting myself get too hopeful.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Mousasi and Jardine would likely face off in a rematch, but had no timetable for the bout.
Shinya Aoki back on winning track
Shinya Aoki and his team brought towels with the message “Fight for Japan” printed across them.
Aoki said he wanted to give his country something positive to cheer about after its been ravaged with crises in the past month. He got the job done quickly, choking out Lyle Beerbohm 1:13 into their lightweight bout.
“I’m happy to end the fight,” Aoki said through a translator, “but this fight was great and shocking to me.”