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.
Next entry: Paul Kelly Withdraws From UFC 85
Previous entry: Report: Hose-Bumstead to Top EliteXC Hawaii Undercard