Nick Diaz didn’t wait long after making his first successful Strikeforce welterweight title defense against tough opponent KJ Noons before he went looking for another fight. Diaz has been cultivating a rivalry with colorful Strikeforce and MTV personality Jason “Mayhem” Miller since they engaged in a post-fight brawl on national TV at Strikeforce: Nashville this past April. The fracas erupted when Miller climbed into the cage to challenge then-champion Jake Shields following his impressive defeat of Dan Henderson. Miller drew the ire of Shields’ Cesar Gracie teammates and found himself on the wrong end of their combined assault, led by the oldest fighting Diaz. Now that their suspensions stemming from the incident have ended, many have been clamoring for a fight between the two and Diaz himself apparently looked to make that happen over the weekend at the Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II fight card.
According to numerous sources who witnessed the altercation (MMAJunkie.com in this instance), Diaz and Miller were making their way toward each other down a backstage hallway when the two fighters took notice of one another. Both men then apparently informed the other of their lesser points and Diaz threw a water bottle at Miller’s face as part of his closing argument. The soon-to-be backstage brawl was halted by Showtime officials and by both fighters’ camp mates and Strikeforce was reminded once again that two of its most prominent fighters very badly want to face each other. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was informed of the incident at the post-fight press conference and indicated that he is willing to promote a fight between Miller and Diaz if the two men actually want to square off.
“Let these guys heal up,” Coker said. “When they come back, we’ll have a conversation. I will say this, though: the fights that we’ve wanted to put together, we’ve been able to put together. We’ll have that conversation. It’s one thing not to like each other, but if they really want to fight, then we’ll put it together.”
Coker is not only confident that he and his partners could put together a fight between Miller and Diaz but also that the fight would basically promote itself. The real key, Coker says, is finding out if Miller and Diaz want to do more than just scuffle backstage.
“That would be a great fight to promote,” Coker said. “It’s not hard to promote that fight. But we’ll see if they really want to do fight in the cage. It’s one thing to have them bump in to each other in the hallway and call each other names. But if they really want to fight in the cage, if anybody can put it together, we can put it together.”
The issue that most will point to as being a limiting factor in bringing this bout to fruition is the fact that Diaz is welterweight champion and Miller is a middleweight fighter. The easy answer is to have them fight at a catchweight in between 170 and 185lbs., which Diaz did when he fought natural middleweights Frank Shamrock and Scott Smith under the Strikeforce banner.