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Nick Diaz and Cris Cyborg leave “Strikeforce: Miami” as champions

SUNRISE, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2010) – Nick Diaz (21-7) of Stockton, Calif., won his sixth straight and the first-ever STRIKEFORCE welterweight championship with a 4:38, first-round TKO over Marius Zaromskis (13-4) of London, England, and the first and only STRIKEFORCE Female lightweight champion, Cris Cyborg (9-1) of Curitiba, Brazil, successfully defended her 145-title for the initial time with a third-round TKO over Marloes Coenen (17-4) of Deventer, Holland, in the co-featured matches of an action-packed mixed martial arts card before 8,156 at BankAtlantic Center Saturday on SHOWTIME®.

In other results on the main portion of Strikeforce’s first event in 2010, former pro and college football superstar Herschel Walker of San Jose, Calif., made his pro MMA debut at age 47 a winning one, registering a third-round TKO (2:17) over Hungarian-born Greg Nagy (1-2) of Phoenix, Ariz., former two-time world champion “Ruthless’’ Robbie Lawler (17-5, 1 NC) of Granite City, Ill., rallied from the brink of defeat to score a spectacular 3:33, first-round knockout (punches) over Melvin Manhoef (24-7-1) of Amsterdam and unbeaten Bobby Lashley of Coconut Creek, Fla., won his Strikeforce debut and improved to 5-0 with a 2:06, first-round TKO over Wes Sims (22-13-1, 2 NC) of Lancaster, Ohio.

The event, presented by SHOWTIME and STRIKEFORCE, aired live simultaneously on SHOWTIME® and on the Web (Strikeforce: All Access) at http://strikeforce.sho.com. The SHOWTIME telecast began at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast); the Strikeforce: All Access webcast went at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

In a fight streamed live on EA SPORTS™ MMA website (www.easportsmma.com), Jay Heiron (19-4) of Las Vegas took a unanimous three-round decision over Joe Riggs (32-11) of Phoenix to put him in position to possibly fight for the Strikeforce welterweight title.

Southpaw Diaz, a talented, Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, mostly outclassed Zaromskis in the match for the vacant world title. Diaz decisively defeated the Dutchman at his own game: striking.

“I’ll fight anybody,’’ said Diaz, who has been victorious in seven of his last eight and hasn’t lost in more than two years. I felt real good fighting again at 170. But the guy I really want is Gegard Mousasi.’’

Cyborg had to work hard to defeat the courageous Coenen, who at no point seemed intimidated by the powerful Brazilian bomber and fought like it. She certainly wasn’t totally overwhelmed and presented Cyborg with more problems than the vast majority of Cyborg’s opponents.

In the end, Cyborg was too tough and rough. “I’m very happy to win this fight,’’ said Cyborg shortly the heated scrap was stopped at 3:40 of the third. “It was a good fight. I think I could have done more but she was the toughest fighter I’ve faced and has a great heart. I admire her a lot.’’

Coenen, a strikingly attractive submission whiz who couldn’t take down Cyborg, wanted the fight to continue. “This is extremely disappointing to say the least,’’ she said. “This was for a world title. It should have been allowed to go a little longer. I wanted to fight.’’

A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Walker was satisfied with his performance in his highly-anticipated, much-publicized debut. Endurance-wise, he didn’t fight like a man his age. He was still breathing easily during the post-fight interview.

“I feel good but I didn’t do many things right and I still have a lot to learn,’’ said Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time Pro Bowl competitor. “The experience itself was exciting and I thank my opponent for fighting me. It’s tough to fight an old man. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

“I thought I’d be more nervous. I’m an MMA fighter now. I earned a little bit of a stripe tonight. This is one of my biggest athletic achievements ever.’’

Nothing was going right for the left-handed Lawler for more than three minutes as the highly regarded Manhoef had his way. But a savage overhand right rocked Manhoef and a left that caught him on the way down ended matters almost immediately.

“I knew this guy was really a killer, but I knew I would catch him,’’ Lawler said. “When he looks to finish, he really loads up. I just lured him in and got him.

“He was chopping and chopping and he was really hurting me with the leg kicks. When I felt the first one land, I knew I could get one more in and finish, and that’s what I did.’’

Lashley, who wants to fight for a world title, said Saturday’s exercise against the 6-foot-10-inch Sims was an excellent learning experience.

“Anytime you win and learn something, it’s a good night,’’ he said. “Sims is a tall guy who came in with nothing to lose, almost like he didn’t care, and those are the guys that are usually the hardest to fight.

“I want to continue to step up.’’

Hieron outpointed Riggs by the scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28: “I wanted to beat Joe and show that I am a top fighter,’’ Heiron said. “I want to fight the winner of Diaz-Zaromskis. Actually, I hope it is Diaz but I don’t care.’’

STRIKEFORCE: Miami will be available On Demand beginning Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Mauro Ranallo called the action on SHOWTIME with MMA expert Stephen Quadros and MMA superstar Frank Shamrock serving as expert analysts.

In Saturday’s non-televised results: Pablo “The Hurricane’’ Alfonso (5-1), Jacksonville Fla., submitted (armbar) Marcos “Parrumpinha” DeMatta (8-1), Coconut Creek, Fla., at 1:47 in the first round (140 pounds); Hayder Hasan (3-1), Coconut Creek, KO 2 (2:42, punches) over Ryan Keenan (3-1), Orlando, Fla., at 170 pounds; John Kelly (4-0), Miami, submitted (rear naked choke) Sabah Homasi (2-0), West Palm Beach, Fla., at 2;48 of the second round (170 pounds); Michael Byrnes (1-2), Port Saint Lucie, Fla., won a majority decision (30-27 twice and 29-29) over David Zitnik (4-7), Sunrise, at 155 pounds; David Gomez (1-2), Miami, won a unanimous decision (30-27 three times) over Craig Oxley (0-3), Miami (145 pounds); ad Joe Ray (1-0), Miami, TKO 1 (3:14, strikes) over John Clarke (0-1), Hollywood, Fla. (170 pounds).

17 COMMENTS
  • gobluefoo says:

    Could Mauro Ranallo be worse as an announcer? He might be the most irritating announcer ever. Could Stephen Quadros be worse interviewing fighters after the fight is over? He looks like death…literally, like Skeletor. And his interview skills are just plain awful. Makes you realize that Joe Rogan is worth every penny.

  • Makington says:

    The night went about how everyone thought it would. No upsets but some pretty damn exciting fights.

    1. Wes Sims should officially retire. I know he only had a week to prepare for the fight so he wouldn’t be in the best shape but doesn’t he look after himself when he’s not fighting? His rolls were laughable. The only thing he accomplished in that fight was trying to make Bobby Lashley look up, unsuccesfuly at his hands.

    2. Walker’s ground game was suprisingly good, if a little too cautious. He seemed like he would spend too long trying to get proper wrist control when Nagy(how the hell is that pronounced ‘Nudge’?) never threatened with close to anything. I feel bad for Walker if he ever tries that stance against someone good though. Ramrod straight means you’re easy as hell to hit and takedown. Overall though he surprised me in a good way.

    3. Cyborg should officially fight in WEC 145 division….she scares me.

    4. Diaz out-reached Zaromskis. I thought he made Marius look like more of a chump than he is. Marius would have had to have known how much Nick likes to fight with his reach and jab your face into oblivion but he didn’t even try to get inside where he could hit Diaz back. I think he will hold the SF belt for a while yet.

    5. Quadros, please please PLEASE stop doing post fight interviews. I can guarantee that SF could find someone better to pick questions, just throw a rock and whoever you hit have them do it instead.

  • RearNakedRadioPugs says:

    1: Steven Quadros looks like a corpse, does he have a mortician do his makeup?

    2: Every time Mauro Ranollo calls a fight, I am left with the feeling I’ve just bought a lemon from a “NO CREDIT/ NO PROBLEM” dealership.

    3: Wes Sims should stick to fighting exclusively at carnivals.

    4: Bobby Lashley’s last 3 opponents were only there for the free buffet.

    5: Why is GSP sitting cage side wearing Strikeforce credentials around his neck?

    6: Does Robby Lawlor have a tramp stamp?

    7: Lawlor vs Manhoff is an example of why MMA is the most dramatic sport in the world.

    8: I wonder how Cyborg would do against some of the WEC’s 145 pound men?

    9: Nick Diaz 2.0 looks unbeatable in the cage but can he beat the piss test?

    10: Thanks EA sports.

  • Rich S. says:

    Rich S.:
    The winner of this fight is the one who defends, and doesn’t get careless.. I happen to think that will be Lawler..  

    I’ll just leave this here..

  • hindsightufuk says:

    gotta agree with Quadros looking like a corpse, shit i never seen someone whiter than his own teeth before.

    strange emotions watching this event. I started off glad i was watching this on my own, cos if i had had my mate with me who is a boxing man, he would have rightly ripped the piss out of me for watching such shite. The Lashley/Sims & Wakler/Nagy fights were embarrassing. Fuck Hershel Walker and fuck Strikeforce for giving him that stage. that fight should have been burried deep in the annals of unwatched undercard events. For a while i really did think Nagy had been paid to lay down for Walker, and i’m still not convinced it was a genuine fight. Nagy looked like a chubby middleweight who had no idea how to fight standing up or on the ground. It looked like a work to me. One of the commentators said Walker had deadly leg kicks, either Shamrock or Quadros, who ever said it is a cunt. i’d fight Hershel Walker, and i’d win, convincingly. I genuinely thought Strikeforce had lost something giving credence to those two fights. Wes Sims fights like someones drunk uncle.

    Robbie Lawler, love him, glad he won, strangest game plan ever? wait til you get your ass kicked and your opponent tries to finish you, then punch him, hard. worked tho eh

    Cyborg is a monster, love to see her fight Leonard Garcia next.

    Nick Diaz is awesome, i truly am i big gushing fan. that performance was great, cos Marius is no joke, i hope he gets another shot at someone worthy in Strikeforce. I havent cheered that loud during a fight since Diaz fought Gomi!
    Umm, Diaz vs Gegard?? shit yes, two of my all time favorite fighters, never happen, but i like Nicks thinking.

    I left this show wishing Strikeforces top fighters go to the UFC soon so i dont have to watch shit like Lashley and Walker ever again. And that is the worse thing, because up until last night i had the utmost respect for Strikeforce, and loved their shows. But last night was embarrassing at times. Then the last two events cancelled out everything before them

  • Rich S. says:

    1. I think Nick Diaz is a freak of nature and I would like to throw him into discussion for the p4p list… He continues to beat very tough opponents, across three different weight classes, in multiple promotions, and now he’s a title holder… And, I would’ve never said this a couple years ago, but I honestly believe he has some of the best boxing in MMA.. And now, more than EVER, he is finally consistent in winning..

    2. Hershel didn’t look absolutely amazing or anything, but he sure as hell didn’t look like a 47 year old man.. Solid wrestling and a load of confidence.. I didn’t catch the post fight interview, will he be fighting again? If not, it was a good outing anyway..

    3. Robbie Lawler is a great fighter.. It feels good to say that, because he used to just be a powerful fighter.. He now has what always kept him from being a contender, and that is patience and tactics..
    He fought a smart fight (kind of) but had he not connected for some reason, I’m not sure how much further he could’ve gone on that leg..

    4. How many more times are we going to have to listen to Shamrock’s comments on how weak one of his opponent’s strikes are when he’s calling a fight of their’s? I’m pretty sure Cung Le’s strikes hurt, THEY BREAK BONES… Shamrock’s bones, more specifically.. And, although they look weak, I’m pretty sure Diaz’s punches hurt, he consistently gets knockouts.. Shamrock, you lost, if the punches didn’t hurt, why’d you go down? I’m sorry, but I find that very annoying..

  • islandguy says:

    The Walker fight was a pathetic farce, not real MMA… fighting that flabby guy who was there to get beat up and he knew it. Guys should get those TV spots by working their way up and fighting legitimate fighters. Why? Because selling us that shit and calling it top level MMA is treating fans like idiots. And Ranalo and Co. going oooh and ahhh “he’s sooo good”.. Yuck. Please no more.

    Not the worst card I ever saw .. the Lawler- Manhoef fight was very cool.. Cyborg looked pretty untouchable. And Diaz is an animal… good rock ’em sock ’em fight. Three good ones.

    But two boring useless freak-show fights.. Sims was there to lose and he knew it. Lashly is a useless pussy and I’ll keep believing that untill they give him a real opponent, win or lose.

    Why not give Lashly a real fight.. so if he loses.. doesn’t mean he can’t fight again.. he might even learn something. Walker was a great football player but he’s nothing as an MMA fighter and he will never get a real fight. He’s just a name they use to sell tickets and get people to watch commercials .

  • slammy862 says:

    Lashley’s first two opponents were deemed to talentless to compete, so they keep dragging the bottom until they find Sims.

    Sims is the modern day Andy Kaufman who apparently is working out at the Roy Nelson school of body building.

    Lashley might be the first fighter to be losing credibility with each fight he wins.

    He needs a Ben Rothwell or Tim Sylvia in his near future to keep him from losing his fan base.

    I think he could be pretty good in a division that has risen from the dead and looks more and more interesting.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Diaz vs GSP would be fantastic and lets face it Diaz is more deserving of a shot at the best than Hardy. Lashley looked good to me. Sure it was only Wes Sims but he was only 4-0 so to say a fight against Sims was silly is silly.Sims has over 20 pro victories and has been in the cage with Severn, Mir and Fulton. Who do you expect him to fight, a top 10 guy? Lets just see him move up the ranks rather than insisting he fights Fedor to prove how good he is. Manhoef looked very impressive until… POW!. Lawler didn’t once look for the take down. Very dumb but it payed off I guess.
    It is a shame that SF and the UFC need to include names such as Kimbo and ex NFL stars in order to get pay per veiws up for their events and TUF series. Some argue that it will introduce casual fans to GSP, Fedor and Penn. It may but I think it may do a lot of damage to MMA too. We already have a growing number of freak show events happening. Kimbo is selling events in a sport where he would hardly break into the top 100 HWs. I also feel fighters have started to fight for the crowd rather than to win, Leben and Baroni are good examples of this and Machida was basically told “be more entertaining or no title shot for you”. Money is a catch 22, it is good for the sports growth but is it good for the sport?. I’m not sure yet and I think only time will tell. I hope in the future there will be no need for such fights.

  • Johnnybigone says:

    Can we finally take Lashleys floaties off and throw him in the deep end against Brett Rogers? None of his fights have brought me any closer to believing hes a legitimate prospect.. Yet.

    It would be a great fight because either Lashley steps up and proves himself or fades into obscurity in a heavyweight division I have a hard time caring about.

  • mu_shin says:

    Have to admit I was yelling out loud at my computer when I saw Diaz dig to the body like a real pro. Great fight, against an opponent I wasn’t familiar with but who a lot of people took very seriously. I think Nick deserves a shot at a UFC deal, as he always comes to fight, never lays down, and while I don’t think he would challenge GSP, I’d watch the fight. Gotta like a guy who wants to fight the best, and even thought Nick still espouses some off the wall beliefs, I like his respect for Cesar Gracie and his training partners.

    Cyborg/Coenen went a long way toward nullifying any of the last remaining arguments that women can’t fight. That was a legit MMA brawl, with two obviously skilled highly trained women. Thought Coenen was going down, but deserved more of a chance to fight her way out of trouble. Cyborg brings the pain, and I hope there are more talented and willing challengers out there for her to continue doing so.

    Robbie Lawler stood in against a real knockout assassin, and won. Those leg kicks were taking a big toll, but he lasted long enough to push Manoef’s button, without resorting to the takedown and wrestle strategy that made a lot of sense. Manhoef got mauled by Paulo Filho, and Lawler could have exploited him on the ground, but got the sweet shot and an exciting victory.

    Have to laud Herschel Walker for getting in to the ring at 47, but fighting that guy didn’t show anyone much of anything. Seemed like Nagy just let go of a potential fight ending heel hook, and hung his neck out there all night long, till I was just frustrated. Herschel apparently never heard of the guillotine…

    Saw an interview after the Lashley/Simms fight where Wes was whining about the stoppage and Lashley thumbing him in the throat. News flash Wes: intelligently defend yourself, including against illegal techniques if they occur, and your night will have more potentially optimistic outcomes. Props to Wes for taking the fight on short notice and getting in the ring with a guy who I think has a lot of potential, but until Bobby steps up, no real fan is going to appreciate what he might be able to do against a better opponent, and until he stops whining and making excuses, don’t have a lot of further use for Wes Simms.

    With Diaz, Santos and Lawler, enjoyed the fights I was able to see. Walker and Lashley, not so much, but I’d watch them both again against better opposition.

  • Rich S. says:

    Can I just ask why everyone hates Lashley so much?
    He is kind of a popular prospect right now, but I don’t remember him being overhyped or overrated any time lately..
    Sure, he’s not fighting the BEST competition in the world, but why do you want him to? The guy has 5 fights under his belt, why does he have to step up against a top 10 heavyweight to earn your respect? Better yet, why is he fighting for your respect in the first place? If you don’t like him, don’t follow his career.. it’s that easy..

    With 5 fights, he’s accomplished:
    One 20 sec victory
    One 40 sec victory
    And three victories over big names, and crafty veterans..
    All jokes aside, we all know Guida, Sapp, and Sims COULD pose some problems for a newcomer, yet Lashley ran through them..

    And most importantly, he hasn’t LOST yet.. Doesn’t that earn him some respect?

    Also, what did you expect to see from Hershel? The guy is stepping up to prove something to HIMSELF, to test HIMSELF, I don’t think he’s shooting for #1 P4P fighter in the world..

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Rich i agree with you regarding Lashley. Personally i dont care either way for him and that is the first time i have seen him fight, i was neither impressed or unimpressed, not much to say about the fight. cant speak for everyone but i just take issue with a fight like that being on a main card. I’m an MMA freak and i was pretty much forced to watch the Lashley & Walker fights. Wes Sims shouldnt be fighting on that stage, someone who deserves a big stage should have fought. And i dont want to see Hershel Walker prove anything to anyone. If he’s having a midlife crisis and needs to get into a fight to prove something to himself, fine, i just think Strikeforce lost some credibility in being the promotion to show it. It wasn’t anything to do with MMA. I do understand the business side of MMA, and i know Strikeforce need the $$$’s, but they have to be willing to lose some respect with it

  • Nick Havok says:

    What can I say that hasn’t been said already…

    I know I was super happy when one of the two main cameras finally switched his orange filter off midway through the Hershel Walker fight.

    Good god, that was absolutely ridiculous it looked like that for so long.

    And in my opinion is perfect grounds for claiming ‘poor production value’.

    But otherthan that…Strikeforce delivered once AGAIN, another super exciting fight card. I would question a number of the fights were stopped a little early, but hey…it beats wack judges decicions every day of the week.

  • theinfamousjmo says:

    Obviously I’m in the deep minority here. But I have literally never heard of any of the undercard fighters. I DVR’ed the event, and probably would have only watched them fight if I was REALLY bored.

    Walker at least intrigued me. I was a big Cowboys fan back in the day, so I wanted to at least see how he did. Plus it’s cool that he donated all his winnings to charity. That was the real sign he’s not just looking desperately for a paycheck.
    As far as Lashley/Sims, I have the same argument everyone else defending Lashley is making. THE GUY IS NOT TRYING TO BE BROCK LESNAR. It’s his first fight with Strikeforce, do you seriously think they’re gonna throw him someone like Rogers, Werdum, or Bigfoot? NO! Hell, Fedor didn’t even get a title shot right off the bat! Why would Lashley get a contender? I do agree that he really needs better competition in his next fight, but at least give him something to test the waters with.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I dislike Nick Diaz ‘s personality/ persona but hats off to his clinic he put on saturday night… he deserved the belt and the W… still think he’s a douche but that has nothing to do with in ring ability.

    Cyborg needs a real challenge which I don’t know if even Erin Toughill can provide… Cyborg is a monster…she eats, breathes and lives for fighting it seems.

    Manhoeff throws some viscious kicks… can’t even imagine taking multiple shots and still having the ability circle the cage.

    I think if the Lashley/ Sims fight went a bit longer we would be giving both fighters a lil bit more credit…

    Walker looked good for a 47 yr old doin it for charity BUT didn’t belong on the card and def. looked like a stiff rock emm sock emm robot… He reminds me of that black dude from the dusk to dawn movie when he turns into the vampire…

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would like to see Nick Diaz vs B J Penn at 170, both great boxers with power neither one would really have the advantage on the ground and both guys are tough as shit. That is the fight I would love to see.

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