This Saturday night, April 11, STRIKEFORCE: SHAMROCK vs DIAZ will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. PRO MMA (promma.info) will be providing previews of the fighters and fights throughout the week leading up to event, culminating with live play by play and post-fight presser coverage on Saturday. The event will air live on Showtime starting at 10PM EST/7:00PM PST.
Headlining the card will be a 179-pound catch weight fight between “The Legend” Frank Shamrock and the pride of Stockton, Nick Diaz. The bad blood for this one started back in March 2006 when Shamrock defeated Diaz’s mentor, Cesar Gracie, at STRIKEFORCE: SHAMROCK vs. GRACIE.
Shamrock is coming off a loss to Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Cung Le. Shamrock could not continue into the fourth round of their March 2008 title fight after receiving a broken arm from repeatedly blocking Le’s kicks.
Prior to that, Shamrock has lost only one fight since 1997 and it was a disqualification for kneeing Renzo Gracie in the back of the head while on the ground. The thirty-six year old Shamrock looks to be in great shape but he will be giving up a few inches of height and reach to the six foot Diaz.
Diaz is on a three fight win streak, his last loss coming from K.J. Noons at Elite XC: Renegade in November 2007 when the fight was stopped by the doctor at the end of round one due to a cut over Diaz’s eye. Diaz is nine years younger than Shamrock and respects what “The Legend” has accomplished.
Diaz recently stated he feels he has nothing to lose in this fight. If he is defeated by Shamrock then he was beaten by one of the sport’s all-time greats and if he wins, then not is it only the biggest victory of his career, but it would also mean redemption for the Cesar Gracie protege.
Also on the Showtime portion of the card will be a ladies match between the Brazilian, Christiane “Cyborg” Santos and Hitomi Akano from Japan. Akano is a submission master currently ranked seventh in the world at super bantamweight. Eleven of her fourteen wins have been by submission and the rest were decision victories.
“Cyborg” on the other hand is a striker, having won four of her six victories by TKO and two decisions. Her one lone loss came by submission, however, it was the first fight of her pro career. Santos vs. Akano will be a clash of styles with both ladies fighting to protect their win streaks.
Brett Rogers vs. Abongo Humphrey will be two big heavyweights trying to stay undefeated and Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach will also be on the Showtime portion of the event. Rounding out the main card is Gilbert Melendez, who was originally scheduled to fight Strikeforce Lightweight Champion, Josh Thomson, until a broken leg forced Thomson to withdraw. An opponent for Melendez should be named within the next day or two.
STRIKEFORCE: SHAMROCK VS. DIAZ
MAIN CARD (BEGINNING AT 7:00PM PST/9:00PM CST):
CW (179lbs) Frank Shamrock (23-9-2) vs. Nick Diaz (18-7)
LW Gilbert Melendez (14-2) vs. TBA
MW Scott Smith (14-5) vs. Benji Radach (19-4)
CW (140 lbs) Christiane Santos (6-1) vs. Hitomi Akano (14-5)
HW Brett Rogers (8-0) vs. Abongo Humphrey (12-0)
UNDERCARD (BEGINNING AT APPROXIMATELY 5:00PM PST/7:00PM CST)
MW Luke Rockhold (3-1) vs. Buck Meredith (3-2)
MW Eric Lawson (8-2) vs. Waylon Kennell (4-1)
MW Raul Castillo (5-0) vs. Brandon Michaels (2-2)
WW James Terry (5-1) vs. Zak Bucia (3-1)
BW Jeremy Tavares (0-3) vs. Shingo Kohara (debut)
(Fight card subject to change)