Nick Diaz grapples with Katsuya Inoue. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Following his impressive victory over reigning welterweight King of Pancrase Katsuya Inoue, EliteXC’s Nick Diaz already has quite the test waiting for him following his scheduled fight against Muhsin Corbbrey in June - a DREAM title bout against Japanese veteran Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in July.
Diaz confirmed the potential matchup with Sherdog.com, stating that a fight against Sakurai would be one against a fighter that he looks up to.
“You know, there’s a lot of other people I’d like to fight, just considering Sakurai is a lot older than I am,” Diaz said in the report. “He’s probably in his late 30’s I’d imagine, so I’m going to have a lot of respect for him and everything he’s done. I tend to do better with people I have less respect for. To be honest, I’d rather be fighting Aoki or Kawajiri - somebody other than the guy that got knocked out by someone I already beat in Gomi.”
“But I think I match up very well against Sakurai,” Diaz continued. “I think he’s a little too short to reach me, and I think his ground game needs a lot of work and you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Like I said though, I’m not afraid to fight anybody, that’s not the issue. I’ll fight anyone you got. I’m here to prove I’m pound-for-pound the greatest fighter in the world.”
Diaz’s scheduled fight against Corbbrey in Hawaii will mark the second time that they were slated to fight. The two were set to clash this month but EliteXC’s island event was moved to June, forcing the fight to be re-signed.
The battle between Diaz and Sakurai will be for DREAM’s welterweight title despite “Mach” being upset by David Baron at a Shooto event on May 3rd.
Eddie Alvarez throws one of his many successful right hands in the first round of his fight last night in Japan against Joachim Hansen. Alvarez won an unanimous decision to move on in DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Eddie Alvarez and Caol Uno each pulled off surprising upsets in the second-round of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament late last night in Japan to solidify their respective spots in the finals later this summer.
The 21,789 that witnessed DREAM’s third effort this year inside the Saitama Super Arena also saw Uno, who fought as a late-entrant into the tourney, overcome a ring-rust filled first round to eventually submit top-ranked Mitsuhiro Ishida with a rear naked choke in the second round.
The first minute of the fight had both fighters content to paw away with short jabs while measuring the distance between one another. Uno picked up the action in the form of leg kicks while Ishida attempted to counter Uno’s kicks with lefts. An errant kick to the groin by Ishida forced Uno to take some time to recover, but the veteran quickly got his bearings back and knocked Ishida down with a crisp right, opening a cut on the bridge of his nose that forced the ringside doctor to stop the clock for a quick check.
Ishida scored a single-leg takedown with about a minute left in the first stanza but Uno was able to reverse position and control his opponent from top position during the closing moments, potentially earning back the round in his favor. After another feeling-out period started the second round, a scramble on the ground saw Uno quickly take Ishida’s back and sink-in the fight-ending choke from behind.
“I know Ishida was eager to fight me,” Uno said after the fight, “He was aggressive and was obviously confident, but I’m the one going home with the win. I’m very happy to be advancing in the tournament.”
Nick Diaz throws a left hand at Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Here are the complete results from last night’s DREAM.3 event, which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
The event featured the second-round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. Tatsuya Kawajiri, Eddie Alvarez, and Caol Uno all moved on. Nick Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller were also victorious in their respective DREAM debuts. A full recap of the event will come later today.
Takeshi Yamazaki def. Shoji Maruyama - Unanimous Decision
Jason Miller def. Katsuyori Shibata - TKO (Strikes)
Melvin Manhoef def. Dae Won Kim - TKO (Strikes)
Daisuke Nakamura def. Bu Kyung Jung - KO (Punch)
Nick Diaz def. Katsuya Inoue - TKO (Corner Stoppage)
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Luiz Firmino - Unanimous Decision
Eddie Alvarez def. Joachim Hansen - Unanimous Decision
Caol Uno def. Mitsuhiro Ishida - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
With a scheduled lightweight bout between Nick Diaz and Katsuya Inoue now seemingly set to happen once again, the fight card for DREAM’s second effort in as many weeks is now complete.
The event, which will once again take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, will be highlighted by the second-round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix tournament. Second-round grand prix matchups set to happen include Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luis Buscape, Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno, who will be fighting as a late-entrant into the tourney, and Joachim Hansen vs. EliteXC’s Eddie Alvarez.
Take note that Shinya Aoki, who won an unanimous decision over Gesias Calvancante last week, will face Katsuhiko Nagata in the fourth tournament bout at the organization’s June 15th show, thus why only three grand prix bouts are slated for tomorrow morning/night in Japan.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who has not fought since avenging a previous loss to Tim Kennedy in December, will take on K-1 Hero’s veteran Katsuyori Shibata, loser of his last three fights.
Those in North America will be able to see the event live on HDNet starting at 3 AM ET. A replay of the event is slated to air at 4 PM ET on Sunday afternoon for those who don’t feel like staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch the show from Tokyo.
The full card for the event is as follows:
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Bouts:
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Luiz Firmino
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Caol Uno
Joachim Hansen vs. Eddie Alvarez
Jason Miller vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Nick Diaz vs. Katsuya Inoue
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kim Dae Won
Daisuke Nakamura vs. Bukyung Jung
Takeshi Yamazaki vs. Shoji Maruyama
Nick Diaz in action against Takanori Gomi. Courtesy of Pride FC.
UPDATED: Nick Diaz’s trainer, Cesar Gracie, is now reporting that Diaz was given the go ahead to fight this weekend. While the weight cut was going to be an issue, he’s scheduled to board a plane Thursday morning bound for Tokyo.
In the ever changing fight career of Nick Diaz, the fight against Katsuya Inoue that we reported last week, has now been called off at the request of EliteXC. Apparently, there was once again a miscommunication within EliteXC’s management and president Gary Shaw was never informed of Nick’s participation in the Dream event this coming weekend. Josh Gross, formerly of Sherdog and now with Sports Illustrated, reports that Shaw just found out about the fight this past weekend and called Diaz’s management Tuesday morning to call off the fight. Shaw was concerned that the fight within the confines of Dream would jeopardize Diaz’s participation in the EliteXC event scheduled for June 14th.
Gary Shaw phoned Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie early Tuesday with the news that the league was killing the fighter’s appearance on the May 11 Dream card. Diaz will make his next scheduled contest versus Muhsin Corbbrey at 160 pounds June 14 on the Showtime-televised EliteXC card from Honolulu, Hawaii.
GracieFighter, the website of Diaz’s fight team, confirmed the news. There’s no telling whether this could hurt relationships between EliteXC and the Dream promotion. They already are sharing the services of Eddie Alvarez and EliteXC could certainly have used some of the talent in the Dream promotion to sure up its thin roster.
Will the Nick Diaz saga ever end? Stay tuned…
Nick Diaz. Photo courtesy of ProElite.
Dream has posted that Nick Diaz will be competing at their Dream 3 event on May 11, 2008. His opponent will be longtime Pancrase veteran Katsuya Inoue. Though Dream 3 is slated to be the second round of Dream’s Lightweight Grand Prix, the Diaz-Inoue fight is not scheduled to be part of that tournament.
EliteXC’s Nick Diaz has had a career of ups and downs. It includes championships in the WEC and IFC, as well as a long run in the UFC. But it has also been marred by controversy, including having his impressive submission victory over Pride’s Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi overturned when he failed a post fight drug test for marijuana. Most recently, he was delayed in obtaining a fight license in California due to his medicinal marijuana usage, forcing his fight, on the undercard of the Frank Shamrock vs Cung Le show, to be cancelled two days beforehand.
Diaz is also scheduled to fight just 4 weeks later on EliteXC’s June 14th card in Hawaii. But as reported this morning, stablemate Jake Shields’ fight for that night has already been postponed. Between that and EliteXC’s need to fill their second TV show in July on CBS, many have raised suspicions as to whether many of the fights on that card June 14th card will happen.
The Nightmare of Battle is reporting that the winner of Diaz vs. Inoue will face Hayato Sakurai for the Dream Welterweight title in July or September.
Frank Trigg grapples with Renato Verissimo. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 3:30 PM ET: Frank Trigg revealed through his TAGG Radio show today and The Underground Forum that he has not signed with DREAM and not will be fighting Ronaldo Souza, who happens to be a training partner of his at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
DREAM parent company Fight Entertainment Group has announced four more bouts for the first round of the organization’s upcoming middleweight grand prix, which will currently take place on April 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Former UFC welterweight title contender Frank Trigg will take on renowned grappler Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a first round bout. Addtional matchups include Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov, Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin, and Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama.
Also, current EliteXC lightweight Nick Diaz has apparently verbally accepted a bout against Marcelo Garcia according to manager Cesar Gracie.
Nick Diaz has verbally accepted to fight Marcelo Garcia at the next Dream show. (April 29th) Although Garcia inititially accepted the fight, there has been talk that the match will now be scrubbed. According to Dream promoters, Marcelo has now decided that he does not want the fight and it is unclear if Dream will be able to find an opponent in time for Nick to participate. Stay tuned.
The card for the event now looks like this:
DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix
Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Andrews Nakahara
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Frank Trigg vs. Ronaldo Souza
Zelg Galesic vs. Magomed Sultanakhmadov
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Taiei Kin
Dong Sik Yoon vs. Shungo Oyama
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix
Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante
Nick Diaz. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
Nick Diaz will reportedly return to action and attempt to take on fellow lightweight Muhsin Corbbrey once again at Elite Xtreme Combat’s scheduled June 14th show in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The two were originally scheduled to fight at an EliteXC show in Hawaii next month but the event, and it’s scheduled lightweight main event between K.J. Noons and Yves Edwards, were ultimately moved to June.
Diaz was slated to take on Jae Suk Lim at last month’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, but was pulled from the card by the California State Athletic Commission because he reportedly failed to turn in his medical work in time to be approved for the fight.
However Diaz and his manager claim that the CSAC’s ruling had nothing to do with paperwork and everything to do with the fact that Diaz owns a medical marijuana card. The former UFC welterweight title contender has not fought since losing to K.J. Noons in November due to multiple lacerations suffered during the fight..
Corbbrey remains undefeated so far inside the confines of EliteXC, winning both of his fights in separate ShoXC events last year. The South Carolina native splits time training between his own gym and American Top Team in Florida.
Here’s something a little different. CBS has put together a quick, little tutorial to give fans not all that familiar with mixed martial arts a general idea of what the rules in the sport are. Referee Herb Dean gives a rundown of what type of things aren’t permitted in the cage while EliteXC’s Nick Diaz and Jake Shields provide examples.
HT: MMA Mania
Above Showtime Sports asks away with Frank Shamrock. A total of 42 questions in all, rapid fire.
For those who don’t have Showtime and are still interested in seeing Shamrock vs Cung Le this Saturday night, Sho.com will be streaming the fight live at approximately 10:15 PM ET using the Showtime Cage Cam.
Diaz, Cesar Gracie Plan Legal Action Against CSAC
One day after the California State Athletic Commission surprisingly ruled that Nick Diaz will not be permitted to fight at this weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, because he owns a medical marijuana card, Diaz and manager Cesar Gracie are now reportedly planning to take legal action.
Gracie told MMA Weekly that he plans to take the matter to court after CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia stated that Diaz’s participation was denied because of late filing of medical papers.
“That’s absolutely not true,” Gracie said in the report. “Because if he didn’t turn his medicals in, how did Garcia know Nick has a mariijuana card? He found out when the medicals were turned in. For some reason, Armando’s finding every excuse in the book to not let this guy fight. That’s exactly why we’re going to move forward with legal action after this. We’re going to go ahead and get our lawyers and we’re going to sit down and go forward with the proceedings. This is just discrimination, you can’t do that.”
Spratt-Von Flue Signed for April 26
Pete Spratt and Jason Von Flue, both veterans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will collide in a welterweight bout that will headline the Ultimate Warrior Challenge’s upcoming show on April 26th at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Washington D.C.
Spratt is coming off of a controversial loss to Ryan Ford in February while Von Flue has dropped his last three fights. Notable fighters also on the card include Thomas Schulte, Carlo Prater, Aaron Riley, Marcelo Brito, and Zach Light.
Two Lightweights Fights Added to Sengoku II
A pair of lightweights bout have been added to World Victory Road’s next Sengoku show on May 18th: Satoru Kitaoka vs Ian James Schaffa and Eiji Mitsuoka vs Kwang Hee Lee.
Roger Gracie, Yuki Sasaki, and Yoshihiro Nakao, who was originally reported as facing Mirko Cro Cop at the recent DREAM event, are all expected to be in action. Even though his name was not mentioned, former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman has stated that he will be fighting at the show as well.
Evangelista, Sims, and Lennox In; Black Out
MMA Mania is reporting that Marlon Sims and Billy Evangelista will clash in a lightweight preliminary bout at tomorrow’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show. However neither Strikeforce, EliteXC, or ProElite have made any sort of announcement of the fight at this hour.
It seems that Jason Black will not be fighting in the IFL after all just yet. Five Ounces of Pain reports through Nick Lembo, legal counsel for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, that Black will not be on the card for undisclosed reasons. He will reportedly be replaced by Jesse Lennox.