Friday, April 8, 2011 | 6 p.m.
- 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 — Weigh-ins always take on suspense when Paul Daley is involved.
Daley, who challenges Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight championship in the headlining fight of Saturday’s card at Valley View Casino Center, had missed the 171-pound cutoff in two of his last three bouts.
But Daley stepped on the scale at the Crowne Plaza without any issues Friday, coming in at 169.5 pounds. Diaz, the champion, also made weight, along with the other six fighters on the main card, which Showtime will televise via tape delay on the west coast at 10 p.m.
“First and foremost, I want to win,” Daley said earlier this week. “But I understand that it's a fight. I'm an entertainer as well, so I'd like to win in an entertaining fashion.”
Diaz and Daley riled up the estimated crowd of 400 by yelling at each other when they posed for their faceoff photo. Daley started the talking, but it didn’t take much to get Diaz barking back at him.
The fans were solidly behind Diaz, who is going for his 10th straight win Saturday, despite Daley’s unique attempt to pick up support. Daley, who’s from London, wore a San Diego Padres cap to appeal to the locals.
“I’m the foreigner over here in the USA, and I at least want to get one or two people out there,” Daley said Thursday. “So I figure if I put this here, wear it a couple times and get photographed in it, then I’ll get some.”
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was quick to separate Diaz and Daley, so their tiff didn’t escalate into anything more than a quick exchange of words.
While Diaz got the most positive reaction, his training partner Gilbert Melendez received a close second. Melendez goes for his fifth straight victory and fourth straight lightweight title defense against Tatsuya Kawajiri in the night’s co-headlining bout. Melendez weighed 155 pounds, while Kawajiri was 154.5.
Gegard Mousasi and Keith Jardine both hit their 205-pound target. The 25-year-old Mousasi enters as a heavy favorite against the veteran Jardine, 35, in their light heavyweight contest.
In the night’s first bout, Shinya Aoki and Lyle Beerbohm weighed in at matching numbers. They were both 155.5 pounds. Aoki is one of the best submission fighters in the world, but Beerbohm is a bright prospect who was 16-0 before dropping his last fight to Pat Healy.
“The rumor is that I’m un-subable,” Beerbohm said Thursday, “so I don’t know how Aoki is going to be able to (submit) me.”
Below are the full results from the weigh-in.
Welterweight Championship Bout: Nick Diaz (170) vs. Paul Daley (169.5)
Lightweight Championship Bout: Gilbert Melendez (155) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (154.5)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Gegard Mousasi (205.5) vs. Keith Jardine (205)
Lightweight Bout: Shinya Aoki (155.5) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (155.5)
The 12 fighters on the Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley undercard also made weight. The six fights showcase some of the San Diego area’s top local talent.