The Official Scorecard - Strikeforce - Diaz vs. Daley

As appeared on www.thegarv.com

Normally, I make sure to watch every fight on card, but sometimes, those damn undercards and prelims are too tough to find. So instead of skipping what were some excellent fights on the televised Strikeforce - Diaz vs. Daley event, we’re just going to look at the main card that featured a pair of title defenses from two of the best fighters in the sport.

The judge has made his decision, so let’s go to the scorecard!

Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
Nick Diaz, Champion (24-7, 1NC) vs. Paul Daley (27-9-2)
Until further notice, ladies and gentlemen, this is round of the year. Daley opened the round strong, catching the champion with several left hooks early in the first minute that looked to stun Diaz. Then it was Diaz who scored with shots to the head and body. Then they traded punches in the center of the cage and along the fence. Then Daley dropped Diaz with another left hook and goes for the finish. With a minute left, Daley appeared to be moments away from defeating Diaz. Daley let Diaz back to his feet and thirty seconds later, it was over. Then finally, you can exhale.
Nick Diaz wins via TKO – Round 1, 4:57
Fight Score: 9

Strikeforce Lightweight Championship
Gilbert Melendez, Champion (18-2) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2)
Pick a word, any word: domination, mugging, beatdown, mauling, blowout, etc. Pick one, pick them all, because they all apply to what Gilbert Melendez did in defending his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship against Kawajiri in a rematch from their December 2006 fight (Melendez won the first via decision). This was easily a career best performance for Melendez as he thoroughly ran a nonstop clinic of violence from start to finish.
Gilbert Melendez wins via TKO – Round 1, 3:14
Fight Score: 7.5

Light Heavyweight Fight
Gegard Mousasi (30-3-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-9-1)
By taking this fight on a week’s notice, the potential was all upside for Jardine in this fight. The longtime UFC light heavyweight contender had rattled off two straight wins on smaller shows after a five-fight skid against the top of the light-heavyweight division. Jardine kept the first round competitive with takedowns, getting Mousasi to the ground four times, but not doing anything to capitalize from the top position. The final two rounds were all Mousasi, as he picked Jardine apart standing up. An illegal Mousasi first round up kick to a downed Jardine cost the Iranian born fighter a point and ultimately the win. For Jardine, a full training camp could’ve seen him getting a win here. For Mousasi, he’s never going to be successful in North America without drastically improving his takedown defense.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine ends in a Majority Draw
Fight Score: 8

Lightweight Fight
Shinya Aoki (26-5) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (15-1)
Right away Beerbohm clinched with Aoki against the fence and that one mistake was all Aoki needed. Aoki took Beerbohm down with ease and slithered his way to Beerbohm’s back where a painful neck crank was waiting for him. The win was the first in the United States for Aoki who dropped a one-sided loss to Gilbert Melendez in Nashville in April 2010. The win over Beerbohm was perhaps the most emotional victory in the career of the Japanese star.
Shinya Aoki wins via Submission (Neck Crank) – Round 1, 1:33
Fight Score: 6

Total for the main card of Strikeforce – Diaz vs. Daley: 30.5 out of 40
Average Fight Score: 7.63

Without grading every fight on the card, it’s obviously unfair to compare Strikeforce –Diaz vs. Daley with other recent events. That said, the four fights on the main card all delivered and were comparable to any main card recently offered up by the UFC. I think the main storyline coming out of this event is that while it may seem like a good idea for Zuffa to run Strikeforce as a separate brand (and contractually they may have to), but with dominant champions like Diaz and Melendez, it’s only going to be a matter of time before the public absolutely demands unification fights with the UFC title holders.

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