The Strikeforce Welterweight Championship bout between Paul Daley and Nick Diaz is official for Saturday, April 9 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Diaz’s manager and trainer, Cesar Gracie, confirmed with MMA Fighting that Daley signed the bout agreement yesterday.
There had been some concern that Daley would pull out of the fight after the UFC’s recent purchase of Strikeforce. Daley, who had his contract with the UFC terminated after firing off a late punch at Josh Koscheck at UFC 113, recently voiced his displeasure and trepidation over the purchase on The Underground forum.
“Business as usual, what if i dont wanna fight for DANA WHITE/ZUFFA?……Dana white bans me for life from the UFC, Then buys STRIKEFORCE, and thinks im still gonna be EASY and fight on one of the most anticipated fights of the year (vs Diaz)? Which will no doubt make ZUFFA/Dana White money,” wrote Daley. “Daley vs Diaz still on?…..Someone better holla at my manager real quick.”
In addition to openly questioning his participation in Diaz vs. Daley, “Semtex” expressed conflict at even staying connected with the Strikeforce promotion.
“Not sure what im gonna do right now, honestly…fight for the Strikeforce and be Strikeforce champ, put money in ZUFFA/Dana Whites pockets? Or fight here in the UK for BAMMA, who appreciate my brand, and have my loyal fans, family and media support me. For real,” he said.
UFC President Dana White commented on Daley’s post at the UFC 128 post-fight press conference this past weekend, stating, “Paul Daley has a contract, so it would be a good idea if he did [fight Diaz].”
It will be the third title defense for Diaz, a Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt who was superlative en route to turning back a determined bid by challenger Evangelista Cyborg and scoring an impressive second-round submission (armbar) in his last outing this past January.
Meanwhile, Daley is on a four-fight win streak, and has won eight of his last nine bouts. In his debut with the promotion last December, “Semtex” demolished Scott “Hands Of Steel” Smith, knocking him out with a single, perfectly placed, ferocious counter left hook at 2:09 of the opening round. He went on to outclass Yuya Shirai last month in Manchester, England to secure the title shot.
Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley takes place on April 9, 2011 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. The main card will be televised live on Showtime.