It was like being in a dream, within a dream, when at the beginning of the Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley fight, the camera zoomed in on Dana White wearing a Strikeforce T-shirt with a Cheshire Cat smile. It was very surreal. It was a great way to kick off the telecast.
I want to thank Colin Noppers at DominantGround.com for allowing me to chill at his house, eat pizza and watch Strikeforce. Unfortunately, in order to watch a Showtime Strikeforce event in Canada, you need to take a second mortgage out and subscribe to Super Channel.
Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (18-2) looked dominant when he stopped Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2) via TKO in the first round. It was the second time these two combatants have faced each other, with their first fight in Japan being considered one of the best fights of 2006. However, the second time around it was all Melendez who showed that his game has evolved tSo the point where many consider him one of the top lightweights in the world. After the fight the new father of a baby girl shouted to the world, “I think it’s time we unify some titles. Who wants to see me fight for that UFC title? I’m the No. 1 lightweight in the world, baby. I’m coming for the spot!” I thank the MMA gods that we might one day finally see Melendez fight some top ranked lightweights in the UFC.
The main event lived up to its billing as UFC outcast Paul Daley (23-10-2) went toe-to-toe with Strikeforce bad boy and welterweight champ, Nick Diaz (23-8). Both men put on a striking clinic in what has to be regarded as one of the best first rounds of the year. It looked like Daley had Diaz in trouble with a big left hook that dropped the champ with a minute to go. The Stockton, Calif., native Diaz got up and continued to throw his Gatling gun of punches in bunches that put Daley on his back. Diaz rained down elbows and more punches until referee “Big John” McCarthy intervened.
Overall the card was solid and although UFC royalty were in attendance, the event still looked like a Strikeforce show. Dana White has been adamant that it would be business as usual for Strikeforce, however, you have to wonder how long that will last. Through out the night there were comments made about unifying titles, super fights and potential interesting match-ups between Strikeforce and UFC talent.
I have a hard time believing that the UFC would ignore the fans about wanting to see some of the best talent in Strikeforce taking on some of the best UFC talent. So in the spirit of the evening here are my dream match ups.
What are yours?