Diaz, ‘Cyborg’ Hit Marks for Strikeforce

By Brian Knapp Jan 28, 2011
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and his eight-fight winning streak hit the scales a little more than 24 hours out from his scheduled title defense against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.

Diaz checked in at 169.5 pounds for his showdown with Santos (169.5) in the Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg” headliner on Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The six other men booked for main card duty -- middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (184.25) and his challenger, Robbie Lawler (184), included -- also made weight without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.

The world-ranked Diaz last appeared under the Strikeforce banner in October, when he took a unanimous decision from former EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons. The 27-year-old Stockton, Calif., native had finished his seven previous foes. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie, Diaz has long been revered as one of the sport’s most effective and dynamic offensive fighters. He has secured 19 of his 23 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Wins over reigning Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis, one-time UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock, Japanese standout Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 4 finalist Chris Lytle highlight his outstanding resume.

Santos has not competed since June, when he stopped Zaromskis on first-round punches in his welterweight debut at Strikeforce “Los Angeles.” Spawned by the Chute Boxe Academy, the 33-year-old Brazilian has delivered more than half (11) of his 18 career wins by KO or TKO. He will carry a two-fight winning streak into his duel with Diaz, easily the most significant bout of his 13-year career. Santos twice fought for the Cage Rage light heavyweight championship, falling to Melvin Manhoef in 2006 and James Zikic a little more than a year later.

Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg” -- which also features a heavyweight match pairing 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL All-Pro Herschel Walker (220.75) with Scott Carson (214) and a light heavyweight tilt pitting 10-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Roger Gracie (206) against the well-traveled Trevor Prangley (205.25) -- will air live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

At 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT, Sherdog.com will carry a free live stream for half a dozen undercard bouts: Nathan Coy (171.25) vs. Nate Moore (171), Bobby Stack (154.75) vs. Isaiah Hill (155.5), Eric Lawson (180) vs. Ron Keslar (179.5), Germaine de Randamie (135.5) vs. Stephanie Webber (135.75), Lucas Gamaza (171) vs. James Terry (170.5) and Jenna Castillo (121.5) vs. Charlene Gellner (118).

Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg”
Saturday, Jan. 29
HP Pavilion
San Jose, Calif.

Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
Nick Diaz (169.5) vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (169.5)

Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (184.25) vs. Robbie Lawler (184)

Herschel Walker (220.75) vs. Scott Carson (214)
Roger Gracie (206) vs. Trevor Prangley (205.25)

Sherdog.com Live Undercard Stream
Nate Moore (171) vs. Nathan Coy (170.5*)
Bobby Stack (154.75) vs. Isaiah Hill (155.5)
Ron Keslar (179.5) vs. Eric Lawson (180)
Germaine de Randamie (135.5) vs. Stephanie Webber (135.75)
James Terry (170.5) vs. Lucas Gamaza (171)
Jenna Castillo (121*) vs. Charlene Gellner (118)

* Castillo and Coy successfully made weight on their second attempts.
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