STRIKEFORCE World Welterweight Champion and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt Nick Diaz (23-7, 1 NC) has signed a new, multi-year agreement with the San Jose, Calif. based world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my career with STRIKEFORCE,” said the dynamic 27-year-old Diaz, a protégé of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Cesar Gracie and resident of Stockton, Calif. “When I first got here, there weren’t a lot of great 170 pound fighters for me to fight, but that’s definitely changed. There’s a lot of really good fighters in the division now and I’m ready to fight anyone who thinks they can beat me.”
Of late, the 6-foot-1 Diaz has been unstoppable, winning his last eight matchups. In his last effort, he settled a three-year old score with arch-nemesis K.J. Noons, out-striking Noons en route to a five-round unanimous decision at HP Pavilion in San Jose last Oct. 9.
Five months prior to the victory over Noons, the no-nonsense Diaz, one of MMA’s most intriguing figures, ventured to Saitama, Japan, to face top-ranked rival Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in a DREAM promoted affair. To the surprise of many, the southpaw Diaz made quick work of Sakurai, submitting the Japanese fighter with an armbar at the 3:54 mark of the first round.
Diaz was crowned the first STRIKEFORCE MMA welterweight champion in history last Jan. 30 after he scored a thunderous first round (4:38) TKO on rising star Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis with an onslaught of punches at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Diaz’s next challenge and second title defense is set for Sat., Jan. 29 when he will square off with Brazilian powerhouse Evangelista Cyborg (18-13) in the main event of a stacked STRIKEFORCE fight card at HP Pavilion, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).