Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz erased the last loss on his professional record over the weekend by defeating KJ Noons via unanimous decision after five rounds of fighting at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II. Diaz won the fight with superior boxing, somewhat of a surprise considering Noons’ past as a professional boxer, but was unable to finish Noons or ever really put him in serious danger (though he did manage to break the natural lightweight’s jaw). The Stockton kid did more than enough to retain his belt without causing argument but told media following the fight that that he has been noticing an unsettling pattern in his recent outings which he believes kept him from finishing the fight.
Diaz pointed to what he believes is his inability to pull the trigger as the reason that Noons was able to last with him as long as he was; indicating that a fighter of Noons’ talents should not be able to hang with him at all.
“It was indecisiveness [that kept me from finishing the fight], said Diaz. “I should have trusted my boxing a little more, or I should have just committed to taking him down. That’s what happened last fight. I was too indecisive in the first round. If I’d just commit to [either striking or grappling], I don’t think I’d run into problems with a guy like [Noons].”
Indecisiveness notwithstanding, Diaz gave Noons plenty of trouble in their fight and largely due to the unveiling of a new tactic: switching back-and-forth between the orthodox and southpaw stances, keeping Noons from landing with his heavy right hand and opening up new angles to land his own strikes against an opponent left guessing.
“I think that [changing stances] screwed with him a lot,” said Diaz. “I think he was [confused by it],”. “I picked up [fighting orthodox] in my sparring, and found I could finish my takedowns on that side. I finally put it together.”
Diaz made it eight in a row with the win over Noons, and successfully defended his Strikeforce welterweight championship for the first time. Noons had his own six-fight win streak broken by the loss and may have learned that sticking to the lightweight division will suit him best for the foreseeable future.