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From inside the clinch, Matthews muscles Terrado to the floor. Nino" delivers a vicious torrent of elbows that leave Kawajiri destroyed on the canvas. Feel free to peruse the Bellator video preview with thoughts and analysis on R3: Terrado comes out behind a torrent of heavy hooks.

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From inside the clinch, Matthews muscles Terrado to the floor. Nino" delivers a vicious torrent of elbows that leave Kawajiri destroyed on the canvas. Feel free to peruse the Bellator video preview with thoughts and analysis on R3: Terrado comes out behind a torrent of heavy hooks. Feel free to peruse the Bellator video preview with thoughts and analysis on R3: Terrado comes out behind a torrent of heavy hooks. WINDOWS THIN PC TORRENT Username Enter your password and login Highly configurable. And accessibility apps related to TeamViewer at the time running as it has been deleted. It did however reallocate the license. Can securely check remembers all per-connection stay at Thunderbird.

Lucas is scheduled to meet Heather Martin of Jackson, Tenn. I have basically been either training or rehabbing my knee for the past six months. I am looking forward to fighting, taking a week off, and then getting back into the gym. I am in great shape, well prepared and am ready to test myself on Saturday. But there's no question at all that Bellator continues to sign talented fighters. Heavyweight Tony Johnson is the latest acquisition to demonstrate just how good Bellator is at attracting top fighters: Bellator formally announced Thursday that Johnson has signed, and that he'll fight the Carlos Flores at Bellator 41 on April Calling Johnson one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world isn't just a promoter's hyperbole: The year-old Johnson is in his MMA career, with the only loss coming to Strikeforce's Daniel Cormier.

He's an outstanding athlete, has a good wrestling background, and Bloody Elbow just called him the No. Johnson said he's already eying a shot at Bellator's heavyweight champion, Cole Konrad. It would mean everything to me to become the next Bellator heavyweight champion. I plan on getting better and better every time I enter that cage. With young heavyweights like Johnson and Konrad, who are already good and getting better, it's hard not to like the future of Bellator, in terms of the quality of the fighters in the cage.

The only question is whether we should like the future of Bellator in terms of the ability of the promotion to draw TV audiences, attract ticket buyers and make enough money to stay in business. Four months after their ill-fated original meeting was to take place, Erik Koch and Cub Swanson will finally get to square off. Koch and Swanson were first paired for UFC Live 3 on March 3, but Swanson was forced to withdraw due to a tooth infection just 10 days prior to the bout.

Ben Askren was booked for a radio interview on Sherdog. Without much of an introduction, Askren jumped right into the fray and stood up for the Bellator Lightweight champion. He believes that winning is the primary objective and that fighters who fight for bonuses like the Leonard Garcias, the Chris Lytles, the Jorge Gurgels of the world are losers. When you consider, if you go out there and say you go out like a sprint pace, like you go hard and Eddie Alvarez went to take his head off in the first two minutes, he might have gassed out in two minutes and lost the fight.

And you got to win before you show. So, obviously, he can do it. Most of them just want to see someone get knocked out cold. Ben also jumped into another hot-topic discussion, which is the concept of UFC wanting teammates to fight each other. Consider Ben squarely in the corner of Cesar Gracie on the topic.

Askren was doing the media rounds to promote his upcoming fight on Saturday night against Nick Thompson. He explains his high level of confidence as more or less factually-based rationalization. When I was in college wrestling, I won by big points and I took the guys who are the best college wrestlers in the nation, I took them down lots of time in a match. I try to be an intelligent fighter like I try to be an intelligent wrestler. I understand how good the best people in the world at my weight class are.

I really do. I want to see how good I can get, get there as fast as I can, do it, say OK, I did it, and then calm down, have a family, and live happily ever after, I guess. At , Ford has been one of the brightest prospects to come out of Canada in recent years, but has stumbled a couple of times in higher profile fights. Two losses to current Strikeforce lightweight Pat Healy, as well as a submission loss to current MFC champion Douglas Lima mark the only losses of his career.

Outside of those 3 fights, Ford has been fairly dominant throughout his career finishing 13 of his 14 fights inside the distance. Parisyan will look to get his career back on track when he faces a very hungry fighter in Ryan Ford in May.

The bout will be a part of the MMA Live 1 card taking place in London, Ontario under the new sanctioning for mixed martial arts in the province. Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Lyle Beerbohm Robert Peralta -Brett Albee vs. Virgil Zwicker -Saad Awad vs. Joe Duarte -Herman Terrado vs. Matthews -Edgar Cardenas vs. Rolando Perez -Casey Ryan vs. Paul Song Go to www. Location: Kaiser High School Gym.

Event Schedule:. Kids Weigh-Ins: 8. Adult Weigh-Ins: 9. Gilbert Melendez defends his lightweight belt against tough Tatsuya Kawajiri, veteran of many a memorable war in Japanese promotions. Paul Daley. The Matchup: Despite being 27, Diaz is one of the most experienced fighters in the game, and his improvement shows in every fight.

With a busy standup style that keeps opponents overwhelmed and guessing, he collides with Daley, perhaps the most dangerous one-shot striker in MMA. Over the last two years, both men have proven overwhelming in the standup game but for vastly different reasons. Diaz wins due to volume, good combinations and intelligently placed shots, often throwing arm punches just to keep guys defensive while wearing them out. He also has one of the best chins in the game, and since nobody wants to plunge into his dangerous guard, he pretty much fights this way all night.

Daley, meanwhile, is a high-octane banger with huge power. He explodes with the kind of shots that send people into unconsciousness and relishes the chance to plant his feet and trade. He is a powerful welterweight and turns his body into every shot. Both guys did better than most foes against Diaz, and Daley has the tools to exploit those openings if Diaz offers them. Diaz does not figure to have an easy time switching to a ground fight, either. His takedowns have traditionally been marginal, and Daley has decent takedown defense; he gave Jake Shields a good battle before finally being planted and submitted in the second round back in Diaz is going to eat some bombs in this fight, and his chin is going to be tested severely.

If he comes to wear down Daley with his usual stand-and-fling style, he will have to expect to eat his share of booming counter hooks, kicks and everything else thrown back at him. What makes Diaz so tough is his ability to adjust in the middle of a difficult fight and keep his head. Superior wrestlers have held him down and outworked him to decision wins, but he can always pull guard or wear down Daley in the clinch, then hit a takedown or a big strike to stun his man.

He is great at catching opponents in exchanges and exploiting openings. Diaz has been legitimately knocked out just once -- early in his career, in the first of his three fights with Jeremy Jackson -- but if there is anyone in the game who could put him to sleep, it is Daley. The key factor is what Diaz does if a standing fight is not to his advantage. If he keeps slugging, he loses, but if he adjusts and looks to take it to the mat, his path to victory becomes much easier. Expect Daley to light up Diaz early, forcing the Stockton, Calif.

Diaz will oblige him for the first two rounds, then work to wear down Daley. Over five rounds, he will eventually find a way to get the fight to the mat, where his grappling pedigree and great conditioning make him so tough. The Pick: Diaz by submission in four.

This is a bout that promises truckloads of violence and big swings of momentum, but, at the end of the day, Diaz should have enough conditioning and mojo to pull out the win. Tatsuya Kawajiri. The Matchup: Hard-driving, fast-paced lightweights collide in a rematch, with the Strikeforce title on the line. In their first scrap in , Melendez took a unanimous decision, using superior wrestling and control. Since then, both have improved. Kawajiri is tough and resilient and has fought some of the best fighters on the Japanese scene.

Prior to that fight, he would usually stand just enough to set up a takedown attempt. Now, he really looks comfortable in the pocket and can operate from there at length. However, Melendez is excellent at squirming out of bad positions, as well as getting the upper hand in wild scrambles and transitions.

In a five-round fight, he is also pretty much impossible to stop. The Pick: Melendez is definitely looking to make a splash with the world watching, wondering how he will eventually fare against the lightweights of the UFC. He will hold it down here, banging out a clear-cut decision win as he pushes the pace and wears down Kawajiri. Lightweights Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm. The Matchup: Aoki is one of the few fighters in the game able to compete at a world-class level, essentially as a one-tool guy.

He is perfectly content to let opponents put him down and take their chances in his amazing guard, where he uncorks a dizzying assault of submissions. In his last fight, he was decisioned by Pat Healy, as he was outgrappled in spots and ran out of answers against the tough veteran. The decision of when to shoot and force a mat battle will be key in this matchup for Beerbohm.

There is the chance he could sprawl and brawl, using shots to frustrate Aoki while denying him a chance to unleash his marvelous ground game. It would probably be a smart decision, especially early, when quick submissions are much easier before both guys get sweaty and fatigued.

Healy, a tough veteran, showed that Beerbohm may be a little undersized for lightweight. He also threatened him positionally and with some submission attempts that Aoki would likely finish. Against Gilbert Melendez, Aoki was stifled for five one-sided rounds. Beerbohm is not Melendez, but he can imitate that style for 15 minutes if he plays his cards correctly.

The Pick: Aoki is just a tad too experienced and savvy and will land a submission after a lively battle, taking the win in the second round. Light Heavyweight Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine. When he is on his game, Jardine is one of the tougher outs in the business, taking foes to close decisions on account of a vexing style and a tenacious approach.

He does not do anything great, but unless you bomb him out early, he is going to give you a difficult go. His submissions are solid, though at times he seems a tad too willing to let himself be taken down; it backfired against the powerful Lawal. Jardine could possibly try to plant Mousasi -- whose takedown defense is decent but not world-beating -- and grind out a decision win via a high work rate, but that does not seem likely.

Instead, look for Mousasi to dial in and go to work standing, eventually wearing down Jardine with sharp counters and big kicks, especially to the body and legs. The Pick: This is a great style matchup for Mousasi -- about as good as a guy could hope to get against the tricky and unpredictable Jardine -- and he should have too much firepower, scoring a knockout in three. But this weekend Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri will have to do it while their homeland is in a state of disarray and the future of MMA in Japan looks increasingly grim.

The two Japanese fighters on Saturday night's Strikeforce: Diaz vs. A stone-faced Kawajiri showed up to Wednesday's open workouts sporting shorts and t-shirt labeled with the simple message, 'Pray for Japan. Where he lives, in the Ibaraki prefecture along the island's eastern coast, damage was extensive and staying focused on preparing for his title fight with lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez wasn't always easy, he said. We're lacking gasoline, and for a while food was hard to get.

Things have gotten better day by day. I have friends who helped me train and workout, and now I am in the best shape. Now I'm concentrated on the fight. But while the stoic Kawajiri did his best to draw attention to the seriousness of the situation, Aoki, who fights Lyle Beerbohm on Saturday night, smiled and shrugged it off, insisting in English that the disaster in Japan was "no problem.

The difference between the two countrymen isn't simply a regional one, however. Aoki -- at once playful and indifferent -- seemed as if he were being intentionally difficult at times, giving one-word answers to some questions and refusing to take others seriously. For instance, when asked what he learned after his first experience in the cage last April, Aoki said, through his translator, "I learned how to solve the jetlag problem; I came two days earlier this time.

USA: lot of money. Simple, direct, and not necessarily inaccurate. Kawajiri, on the other hand, seemed to be taking every issue a little more seriously. He showed up to the workouts with an entourage in tow, and spent a few minutes hitting mitts in the cage that was set up inside the Alliance MMA gym.

Before leaving, Kawajiri and his coach climbed back in the cage so they could practice the start of the fight several times, walking towards each other from opposite sides and then starting all over again, just to get the feel of the surroundings. While Kawajiri said he was intentionally not making himself a representative for all of Japanese MMA, as Aoki did before he faced Melendez, he acknowledged that the outcome of the title fight will likely decide whether his future is back home in Japan or here in the U.

I want to make sure I'm in the field with the UFC lightweights as the best lightweight fighters in the world. He did very little in the way of an actual workout on Wednesday, and his enthusiasm for staking his claim in American MMA with this fight was slightly more muted, to say the least. In these uncertain times, maybe it's best to take it one step at a time. The platform is not a great one for the promotion.

Take note of this for later reference. The shows air on Saturday nights. The time slot is not consistent. Then again, I think a ceiling of , viewers is a little bit underwhelming. During a recent interview with Sherdog, I was struck by the tone of the sales pitch that Mr. Rebney said in regards to why he thinks Bellator is a good star-making platform for up-and-coming fighters in MMA. One of the problems with Bellator has been what I call the yo-yo effect. Then they were on Fox Sports Net.

The ratings were OK but they bounced around in terms of different time slots. Running on Thursday nights, however, was a good idea. They get MMA better than anybody in television. They know how to shoot it, they know how to produce it, they know how to promo it.

He does make a fair point that the suits do have familiarity with MMA. However, the platform and demographics matter more. Just ask UFC how things with Versus are going. That is the driving force behind the brand development and maturation of The Ultimate Fighting Championship is that show on Spike network. And that show has allowed us to tune in, fans to tune in week-after-week, year-after-year and see the development of stars, to see guys come out, tos ee the development of the brand, to listen to the brand messaging, to be pointed to PPVs, etc.

That week-in, week-out, same-time same-place channel development and partnership is the key to building out a Mixed Martial Arts organization. You have to produce great shows, you have to have great content, you have to have great partners and just build it.

I mean, they were the perfect alliance and partnership. Spike has done an amazing job building up the UFC. In other words, people kind of know what MTV is about, what MTV2 is about but, you know, I think if we can continue to do strong numbers on Saturday nights and we can continue to grow them at a regular time slot, I think we can impact how people perceive MTV2 as an outlet for live sports competition as opposed to kind of the typical content and format that they play on MTV2.

I think we can build them. An interview answer that made me chuckle was when Mr. Read how he frames the demographic he attracts and makes it sound as good as the demos UFC appeals to. I mean, when you look at places at like Disney and places like Viacom, major entertainment giants in our space, they control a multitude of different networks.

They control a multitude of different distribution platforms. I mean, they control and own an awful lot of different things that we watch and tune into and buy tickets to see. Trying to argue which demographic is more financially valuable is, of course, laughable.

UFC draws the demographic which spends money on PPVs and tickets and features people who, hopefully, have gainful employment and are willing to spend some of their income on purchasing what Zuffa is selling. And, if you take that into account, so far the message of watching the show on MTV2 is not working to increase ratings. It costs money to air live every weekend on satellite.

It costs money to pay fighters like Eddie Alvarez. To have so many shows and a limited amount of office staff to promote the live events can be challenging. Just on the outside-looking-in, the gut feeling one might have is that right now things are kind of like a tight-wire act, especially with the pound elephant in the room with UFC.

I do think the comments made about not necessarily hitting PPV are interesting. One of the big reasons, in my opinion, that UFC went after the Strikeforce assets is because SF was eventually going to have to make it on PPV in order to make their promotion financially strong and profitable. The lawsuit is proof of that. PPV has to be the end-game for Bellator long-term if they want to be profitable.

So, I like our strategy, I like our business model. You build guys out, you do it quickly, you do it on national television, you give them three fights in 90 days and they go from being a virtual unknown in the general market to being a well-known commodity. But, yeah, Bellator has never been and will not be a landing spot for castoffs from other organizations.

Marlon Sandro is coming over, Ronnie Mann is coming over, those are two stars from Japan at , both of them ranked in the Top 12 in the world. We signed Ben Saunders. Bellator has signed a lot of guys recently. Considered to be one of the greatest fighters in the world after the success achieved in WEC, Aldo promises to keep the hard trainings for UFC shows. How were your trainings in Netherlands, with Andy Souwer? The trainings were great, we can still find little flaws, but of course two weeks is not long enough to try and do something completely new, but in the future I intend to go there and stay for a while so I can absorb more and learn new things.

It was great, but we can see we still can get better. Did he give you any striking tips? How are the expectations for this first belt defense as a UFC champion? Do you fear this time off you had to take because of your injury can disturb you in any way? Not at all. What do you think about Hominick?

Now, Kenny Florian went down and will face your training partner, Diego Nunes. What do you think about that bout? Diego is growing a lot in the event and a win over Kenny Florian will put him close to the belt, which is yours. How do you see this situation? Man, I see it as a natural thing. Exactly, like if he was my guardian. Does it give you the chills? I see it as the fight of my life.

What do you expect of the show, which will have St. Good fights, I hope both shows are good. We cheer for him. But I hope Lyoto wins. Silva's hearing before the commission took place on Thursday morning in Las Vegas, and he appeared without the benefit of an attorney, taking full blame for the incident and explaining how and why he did it.

According to MMAJunkie. Silva said the act was caused out of desperation to return to the cage, saying he needed to earn money to help support his family and dependents. Prior to UFC , the year-old had not fought in over a year largely due to his injured back, and said he was "completely broke. His ruse, however, was discovered when two of his samples proved "inconsistent with human urine" during testing.

In speaking with the commission, Silva admitted to turning his back to a commission inspector, opening the purchased sample, and pouring it into the test vial. According to MMA Junkie, the commission promised to reevaluate its methods for conducting tests to make sure a similar incident does not occur in the future. Silva's license revocation will run to Jan.

Meanwhile, the result of his fight with Vera -- originally a Silva unanimous decision -- has been officially changed to a no-contest. Vera, who was cut shortly after the fight, has since been brought back into the UFC fold. Silva made no public comment to reporters upon leaving the hearing.

Gegard Mousasi sees his matchup Saturday against Keith Jardine as a huge opportunity. This fight is important. I think this one is a deal breaker or maker. I need to win this one. Mousasi also believes a win over Jardine and a subsequent victory over Henderson could set up another big bout. First, though, Mousasi must get by Jardine.

Mousasi did not sound fazed by the opponent switch. My training is just sparring. Just train, and fighting is fighting. People make like a science of the fighting. I train for a fight. Mousasi said he was told that he would be fighting Kyle in February, then in March, then in April.

You train four months and there was a lack of concentration and motivation. The motivation is there now, however, since the UFC bought Strikeforce. I hope they like my style. Penn due to injury. Now the July 2 card has lost Penn as well.

The former lightweight and welterweight champion has been forced off the UFC card with an undisclosed injury. Sources close to the situation indicated Penn has ruled himself out of the July card due to an injury, which at this time has not be disclosed as to its severity. Now it appears an injury is why. Currently, the main event for UFC will feature bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz against Urijah Faber, while the addition of middleweights Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben could serve as a co-main event.

With the show still several months away, more high profile bouts could be added to the card as well. Daley by Mike Sloan. The showdown promises to be a thriller, as the styles of both combatants mesh perfectly. The pros think they know the answer.

Ricardo Liborio: Nick Diaz is more well-rounded and fights five rounds over and over. It will be an amazing fight. Dan Hardy: Daley by KO in the second round. Diaz will try walking forward [and] punching like usual, but [he] will get hit hard and cut in the first round. The second round will be the same with Diaz trying to get the fight to the floor, but failing.

He will get hurt with a knee and knocked out towards the end of the round with a left hook. Frank Shamrock: Nick [wins]. Javier Vazquez: If Nick Diaz fights smart, he will use his striking to get the takedown and submit Daley.

Diaz sometimes has a habit of trying to beat guys at their own game. It might cost him in this fight [if he does that]. I still pick Diaz to win by submission. Nick also has tons of experience dealing with good strikers. Nick has always cracked me up; he is as real as it gets. I am going with Nick. Gilbert Melendez: Diaz by whatever he wants. Erik Paulson: Nick Diaz is a stud.

He needs to take him down and finish him on the ground. Be like water my friend! Mike Whitehead: Diaz by KO in the second round. Travis Wiuff: I think Diaz is one of the most underrated fighters out there. I love his attitude. I am taking Diaz by second-round stoppage. Mike Easton: Nick wins. Doug Marshall: I think Diaz will wear him down like he always does.

Cyborg blasted his legs about 30 times and he kept coming! Sam Hoger: How can Daley beat Diaz? A riddle it will be! On the ground Diaz [is] better and standing he has a bit too much reach. And to talk trash in this case I think he is singing the wrong song because Diaz will be way too much by the time this day is gone. I'll be rooting for Daley though. Tim Kennedy: The only chance Paul has is in the first round. Nick is the better wrestler, grappler, and perhaps ever more rounded as a striker.

I see Nick playing the up-and-down game and finishing off Daley by submission in the fourth round. Nick Diaz will use his long jab and machine-gun punches while Semtex will be looking to land his game-changing left hook and low kicks to neutralize his opponent. After watching a much smaller Jorge Masvidal use his superior boxing to avoid damage and frustrate Daley, I think Diaz will be able to do much of the same.

The fact that Nick is a southpaw will make it very difficult for Daley to land that big left hook. I believe Semtex will eat a hefty serving of right jabs and straight-left hands right down the pipe early and will be forced into using low kicks only trying to stay on the outside of Diaz's long-range punching.

I don't think this is an easy fight for Nick Diaz but in my opinion he has many more ways to win this fight. Paul Daley always have that one punch KO power, but I just don't think he will be able to pull it off against the iron-chinned Diaz. Should be a very exciting fight, but at the end Nick Diaz will remain Champ.

Diaz by TKO. Keith Berry: Diaz is tough as s--t. He will weather the storm and get the TKO in the third or fourth. He might get a little rocked, but he will get the W. Michael Guymon: Daley is one hell of a dangerous fighter with the power he possesses in his hands. Unfortunately he is fighting someone like Nick. Ray Elbe: This is a great fight Styles make fights and Diaz uses the clinch for takedowns, which will expose him to Daley's striking and muay Thai clinch.

I hate picking against a Cesar Gracie guy, but because of the matchup Daley by KO in the second round. Benji Radach: Diaz has the ability to win this fight by utilizing all his skills. However, Daley has some good takedown defense that could frustrate Diaz and cause him to receive a knuckle sandwich that doesn't taste well. This being said, if Diaz scrambles or sets up a good takedown, I'd say Diaz wins by a nasty choke.

However, if Diaz can't force or set up a good shot I see some serious punch-drunk action in Diaz's near future! Jason Miller: I usually don't weigh-in on [fight predictions], but I think I should comment here. This is a style clash that will result in a loss for Diaz. Diaz' weak link is undoubtedly his takedowns: he had a mountain of trouble taking down a much smaller K. Noons, and in a pure kickboxing contest, Daley has a definite advantage. Although Diaz is a more well-rounded fighter, it is doubtful that we will get to see a lot on the ground in this fight.

Daley by KO. I think this fight will look a lot like the Diaz vs. Cyborg fight, or worst-case scenario: the Daley vs. Shields fight. Diaz is gonna take some shots and have a few close calls, but eventually he wears Daley down, gets him to the floor and wins by armbar or rear-naked choke.

Diaz has a lot of ways to win this fight while Daley has only a left hook. Stephane Vigneault : Diaz by submission in round two. Gabe Ruediger: Going with Diaz. Should be an entertaining fight and I really think Daley will be competitive, but Diaz's ground and gas tank are the deciding factors. Sean Loeffler : OK well this one is an easy one for me. Nick Diaz is by far my favorite MMA athlete of all time I say athlete because he is not just a fighter. I really love the way he fights and moves in the cage.

Secondly, Paul Daley has a bad attitude and threw a horrible cheap shot after the Koscheck fight. I say horrible because it was completely ineffective. It would have been cool if it fu--ed him up. Not because I don't like Josh -- he's tough -- it just would have been the only clean shot Paul landed all night.

Anyways, percent: Diaz murders Daley Billy MacDonald : The question on everyone's mind is will this be the fight where we get an elusive sighting of Nick Diaz's ground game? I personally don't think so, but I think that it won't matter anyways as Diaz avoids too many shots and utilizes his reach. Tom Vaughn: This is the biggest Strikeforce fight ever, I'm pumped for this match.

Paul Daley is a dangerous man for anyone, including himself. With one punch KO power, Daley can end a fight at any point before, during or after. In this fight, Nick Diaz can not risk taking a punch to give one as he usually does. Nick needs to fight smart early and gain ground as the fight progresses.

I don't know why, how, or when but I think Nick Diaz will find a way to win this fight. Nick Diaz by miracle. If Nick wants to bring this fight to the ground, he will find a way to get it there. Daley has been able to give jiu-jitsu fighters difficulty in the past, but Nick is not your typical jiu-jitsu fighter.

I see this fight coming down to one main component: who wants it more. Nick is on an impressive streak and has had a chip on his shoulder for years. Everyone watching him fight can see this. The streak will continue with Diaz pulling off a sub or TKO towards the end of the second. Eric Pele: I got Diaz all day on this one. Diaz by third-round stoppage. Jorge Lopez: I think in order for Daley to beat Diaz he has to kick the s--t out of his non-checking leg and avoid being taken down. I want Diaz to win and think he will via submission in the third.

It was a hard sparring day. Nick was getting over aggressive so I hit him once and he paused for a brief second, then flew backwards as if he were superman and was dazed on the floor. Nick Diaz will put Daley down and submit him in the second round. Thereafter Shoeless Joe Jackson and the seven other players banned in the Black Sox scandal, despite all of them having died many years prior, emerged from my corn and began to play baseball on the field.

Despite the field driving me into bankruptcy, there was no way I was going to get rid of the baseball field. In fact, I followed the whisper, yet again, when it led me to take famed s activist author Derrick Noble, who had since become a recluse, to a baseball game. At the game, we both had a vision that led us to visit Chisholm, Minn. On the way home from Chisholm, Derrick and I picked up a hitchhiker; a young ball player -- who, somehow, happened to be the one and same ballplayer-turned-doctor who had died many years prior.

Once back at my farm, the ball player-turned-doctor joined the other ball players. All of it was truly unbelievable and, in fact, many did not believe it. For example, my brother-in-law still could not see the ball players and was very upset that the field was driving us into bankruptcy.

He was also upset that my daughter could see the ballplayers and thought that we were making her delusional. During a confrontation about the bankruptcy, my brother-in-law accidentally dropped my daughter and she began to choke. Off of the field walked the ball player-turned-doctor and he was transformed from the young kid into the old doctor. My brother-in-law could then finally see the players and understood why we were not selling.

Derrick Noble was invited into the corn from where the dead players were coming to see what was on the other side. And then I was rewarded for following the voice. My father, a huge baseball fan, who had passed away many years prior, was catching for the team. I got to meet him and play catch -- something I refused to do as a kid and always regretted.

Some of the big-name athletes will only see action next week, in the gi event. However, things are already heating up in the No-Gi contest, being held for the first time this season. A number of aces are scattered through the brackets, with the under kg standing out as being especially thorny.

To check out the brackets, click here. Check out some of the big names from each category:. Two months ago this would have been an unthinkable incursion into enemy territory for a Zuffa employee, and one fueled by heresy in a can. Now it's the new normal. It seems minor at first, but sometimes it's the little things that signal the start of a big change. As Strikeforce counts down the final days until its first major event under the ownership of Zuffa -- the UFC's parent company -- change is evident in dozens of small ways.

If you think the subtle differences are lost on the fighters, think again. They run better," said former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi, who lounged in one corner of the gym on Wednesday afternoon after a little light work to prepare for his bout with former UFC fighter Keith Jardine.

As a fighter, I like things like buses going to and from the shops. Small things, but it makes a difference. For instance, take the open workouts themselves. For the UFC, it's a mainstay of the fight week PR schedule, something you can mark on your calendar the moment you know the date of the next event.

Fighters come in like clockwork, go through the motions of hitting pads or choking out sparring partners for the cameras, and then they do the media rounds and get out before they have to share much mat time with their opponents. It's not just the media that notices differences like these. Even lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez remarked upon the new sensation of having Zuffa hovering over the fight week activities while Strikeforce's staff mostly faded into the background.

It's more than just having a firmer schedule to go by on fight week, Melendez pointed out. Now he has "the marketing machine of the UFC behind [him]," and the difference is palpable. Fellow Strikeforce lightweight Lyle Beerbohm, who showed up to the workouts in a pair of colorful shorts that made UFC director of communications Dave Sholler remark that he finally understood why Beerbohm went by the nickname "Fancy Pants," echoed the sentiment.

You can tell there's more stuff going on, more press, all that. It's nice. Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz, who was scheduled to lead off Wednesday afternoon's workouts at the Alliance MMA gym, never showed up at all. All day long there were rumors of Diaz, but never Diaz himself. Just the fact that Zuffa managed to get him on a media conference last week was impressive enough, but when it comes to getting the notoriously media shy Diaz to turn up on time and talk into a camera just days before his fight, even the best PR staff has limits.

But while the increased structure and media attention are certainly the perks of the Strikeforce sale, fighters are aware that they come at a price. You've got to stay sharp on your game. There's a flood of fighters in the game, but there's a high demand for some real talent out there. I feel like you've got to work hard to be that talent.

Melendez added that he hopes "Strikeforce stays Strikeforce," in part because he's the man currently wearing the promotion's pound belt, and also because he recently signed a new contract that he's pleased with. Obviously it's a little more cutthroat I was a big fish in a small pond, and now I'm a pretty good-sized fish in the ocean. That means I've got to perform, got to deliver, and I think I'll fit in really well.

The hardest part for many of the fighters is the uncertainty of the situation. While UFC president Dana White said it would be "business as usual" at Strikeforce after the sale, all it takes is one cursory glance around this week to tell that's not the case. It makes it difficult for fighters to tell whether their goal should be to climb the Strikeforce ladder, or whether they should be focused on auditioning for the UFC with each outing.

There's basically one major organization, so you know, don't screw up? That's pretty much it. In the fight game, that's easier said than done. What's a positive change for some could easily turn out to be disastrous to others. In the end, at least according to Mousasi, it boils down to a very simple equation. Just win your fights. If you're good, you'll make it. That's the hope, anyway. For fighters, it's the only part of the game that never changes. The producers of the event, Carlson Gracie Jr.

Jiu-Jitsu legend Rickson Gracie will be in attendance for the match of his son, Kron. The fight was not pretty to watch, but Mr. Alvarez played it smart and did some damage to Curran who hung around and survived. With Strikeforce fighters now under the Zuffa banner, the amount of competition remaining for Eddie Alvarez has thinned out. Things fell through when Bellator and Strikeforce never seriously got to the table about doing some co-promotional fights.

Gilbert Melendez any time soon. Eddie recently did an interview with Josh Gross audio here and made some very blunt, candid statements about where his career is at and how he would react should circumstances change. He was asked about where he felt his standing was in the MMA landscape with guys like Gilbert Melendez now under the Zuffa banner.

Alvarez tried to walk a fine line but remain honest about his feelings regarding the UFC. That scares me. The Bellator Lightweight champ says that when it comes to fighting, he would like to fight the best but he also has to weigh his financial obligations and make the best business decision.

At what cost to me? Do I have to, what measures do I have to take in order to fight them guys? Do I have give up all my, every single ancillary right I can dream of? But the reality is that I have three kids and I have a family to take care of and everything has to line up. His best days are behind him, though, according to Askren. I feel like I can go in there and dominate [and] really win everywhere. Not just with my wrestling. The two meet Saturday at Bellator 40 in Newkirk, Okla.

Olympic freestyle team. With that said, Askren did credit Thompson as a veteran of the game. He expects Thompson to have a few tricks, including some submission attempts. What are your thoughts about the fight, when you did a good job defending his takedown?

I did well, I defended the positions both on the grid and while standing. On the second round things were happening like I planned them to, but then he came with a single leg takedown and, when I tried to stand-up, I slipped and he grabbed my back. On the third round I was doing ok, but he took me down and held me there forever. I swept, but then he came and held me again until the end. It was a tough fight. I have to train more and more and play my game to knock them out.

What do you think about your improvement on defending the takedowns? I was training a lot with Darrel Gohlar, but he left, and lately I was training by myself, until Antoine and his brother, Adrian Jaoude , went training at my gym, and it made a big difference on this fight. We did a strong work for this bout, but I was confident and made a mistake.

It started fine and he started scoring points at the end of the second round. Phil Davis is a very good wrestler, he has better takedowns than Ryan Bader, he has a great variety of coups, like Cain Velasquez. I have to keep training. Do you think it should a flaw on your game that you need to work on?

He played a game where he was clearly worried about defending himself. He was going to punch me, but then he stepped back. But yeah, I was sad to have wasted that opportunity to fight in Rio. On the weekend after your fight, you and your brother opened a brand of your gym in San Diego. How the party was like? It was pretty good, it was crowded on its opening party. It was a huge success. Do you intend to open new gyms? We now have two gyms, and we want to open more.

In the fighter kept on the winning path, winning the lightweight division at the European and at the Pan, where he closed out with his teammate Lucas Lepri. What did you think of the Pan? Your division was extremely competitive. I always like testing myself, seeing whether my Jiu-Jitsu is efficient and evolving in step with the rest of the gang.

The division was burly and, thank God, Lucas Lepri and I had some good matches and managed to close out. What about this duo of you and Lepri? We managed to close out the second major championship of the year on the IBJJF calendar, which is our priority. Our goal is to always make it to the finals together. Was there any match in particular that caught your attention at the Pan?

There were a bunch of good matches, hotly-disputed finals. I really liked the finals between Bernardo and Rodolfo, both at weight and in the absolute. Those were two tough matches, two wars. Rodolfo was technically really good, with excellent base, and Bernardo fought hard until the very end, not going down without a fight.

Bernardo put up a fight for as long as it lasted, and that will and desire to overcome serve as an example. He had an excellent tournament, getting the quick finish in three of his four matches. What do you expect at the World Pro? There will be a lot of athletes with a shot at becoming champion. If a fine line between being technically sound and fan-friendly exists, Gilbert Melendez has walked it with unerring consistency.

The Strikeforce lightweight champion fights one way -- all-out -- and wears down opponents simply through the frenetic procession of his attack. He figures his opponent will have improved some off their first encounter in , which ended in a unanimous decision victory for Melendez. Those figure to be knocked down in the months and years ahead.

In short, the fighting life of Gilbert Melendez has never looked better, given the opportunities at hand. After a long process of looking outside, he appears ready to bust down the door now that he has gotten to the biggest party in town. It starts with Kawajiri. Melendez sensed a potential weakness. Kawajiri is definitely a Top 7 [lightweight]. It chafes a guy in his elevated position, to say the least, being universally respected among fight insiders and hardcore fans, yet being virtually dismissed by the general public.

The news hit Melendez on a visceral level. I was happy with Strikeforce and wanted them to show they were really serious, so I was happy with my decision. And I look forward to the bonuses. It will also change the never-fought-in-the-UFC perception pervasive among fans that have never heard of any other promotion, yet wear that ignorance as a badge of authority when assessing fighters. In the amateurs, right? He just got tougher. He gets in there and puts it all on the line and tries to finish people.

In the deep UFC lightweight division, where Melendez will ultimately compete as Strikeforce is folded into the larger promotion, Gracie knows his charge will be put to the test. It is something with which he is comfortable. I look forward tothe bonuses. It was -- and is -- strictly business.

It is a big reason why Shields, the Diaz brothers and Melendez carry that instinctive spark when pushed to the wall and are exceptionally tough. It was a lot of desperation and anxiety. There were also sessions with David Terrell and Gil Castillo, then top professionals who made no distinction between fighting the best of their day and thumping a newcomer willing to supply fresh meat for a training session.

Now that the biggest door is finally opening, Melendez plans on doing just that. Silva won the fight, but the result of that fight was also part of the NSAC ruling and punishment doled out on Thursday. Kizer felt that Silva should have come forth following his original notification of the failed test result on Feb. Silva detailed how he was able to provide the fake sample.

He said he purchased it off the Internet, hid a vial of the sample in his shorts, and then poured it into the collection cup, while the Nevada inspector stood behind him. Aside from assigning blame and punishment to Silva for his actions, the commission also accepted some responsibility for the situation.

In the weeks leading up to UFC , Dana White and Tom Wright, the UFC's Director of Canadian Operations, have repeatedly assured fans and media that the promotion's usual live event experience will not be compromised at its biggest show ever.

However, until April 30 rolls around, how can we be so sure? The UFC typically adds six to eight of their own video screens, depending on the size of the arena, in addition to the main scoreboard, inside the venue. That means there could be up to 20 video screens positioned around Rogers Centre on fight night. In addition, and most interestingly, the UFC will be complimenting the stadium's foot video board with its own foot screen on the south side of the stadium.

By contrast, Strikeforce and WWE typically use two to three screens during their respective live events. There won't be a bad seat in this place. To be able to do a stadium this big and say there won't be a bad seat in the house, we pulled it off. It's gonna be great. Of course, no one bought a ticket to UFC so they can watch the fights on big screens, but it's reassuring to see the UFC do whatever it can to make sure all the action will be seen, in some form, inside the stadium.

UFC , in case you haven't heard yet, is completely sold out. Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez made the first successful defense of his title on Saturday night with a unanimous decision win over Pat Curran at Bellator Prior to the fight, Alvarez made a lot of noise about his impression of being compared to the top lightweights in the world, the majority of which are in the UFC and Strikeforce, both under the same ownership now.

What Alvarez was able to do in his fight with Curran was win, and win convincingly, but not put on a performance that would make people wonder if he truly was the top pound fighter in the world. It was Alvarez who time and time again belted Curran to the midsection with body shots, and keeping his footwork moving to get in quick and fire off shots. For his first full minute fight, Alvarez also showed off his cardio looking as fresh as ever in each round.

Daley explodes with another vicious left hook that puts Diaz on his face, and Daley follows up, but incredibly, Diaz recovers, getting to guard with a minute to fight. Daley stands away, Diaz stands back up. Massive left hook to the body by Diaz brutally hurts Daley, and now the champion comes roaring back. Daley hits the mat, and Diaz follows up with punishment on the folded Brit. Absolutely incredible fight.

Nick Diaz retains his Strikeforce welterweight title. Strikeforce has long talked about making a move to pay-per-view. Lawal has since dealt with some injuries, and recently relocated to San Jose, Calif. As for Gracie, he was rumored to be the original opponent for Gegard Mousasi on the Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley fight card taking place this weekend in San Diego, but sources had said he was entering the last fight on his current contract and was stuck in negotiations, so the fight never came to fruition.

Headlined by a heavyweight No. Additionally, the card will feature a middleweight scrap pitting heavy-handed wrestler Mark Munoz against submission ace Demian Maia, and a lightweight tilt featuring Donald Cerrone and Mac Danzig. Edwards made his UFC debut in and began his most recent run with the promotion in September , earning a unanimous nod over John Gunderson.

By Zach Arnold. If they would have known from the get-go that they would be fighting each other possibly in the future, would Rashad have helped him? Not going to happen! Someone offers him a bunch of money, is he going to go punch Lorenzo in the face, possibly knocking his teeth out for money? Well, why not? What if the fans called for it tomorrow? What if we thought that was interesting?

And people obviously would pay to see that. Is he going to do it? OK, well, there you go. Lots of unhappy folks. I mean I know anything can happen with those four ounce gloves, for sure, but I have to give that edge to Diaz standing up. I think it might have been a split-decision. It was one of those fights where, you know, it depended on how you looked at that fight. Both guys had takedowns, both guys had great punches, dropping each other, the whole thing. What it will take for Nate Diaz to reach the next level in his career.

The whole thing with the trophies and everything, Jake has won everything. Looking forward to it. Check it:. How are your trainings for fighting Randy Couture? Besides being a great wrestler, Randy Couture is strategic. What are you preparing for him? We always try to focus on the physical aspects first.

Resistance is a physical quality you can continually gain over time, but speed is something you tend to lose when getting older. Dana White said you could be fired in case you lose to Randy Couture. How does it feel to be under that kind of pressure? Honestly, at first, when he said that, I was worried and a bit upset.

A win over Couture would be a big step on your career. Where will you be, in case you win? Maybe on the line for the belt. The consequence of a win is to bring me near the top, even for the great name Couture has build up in the event. Against Rampage, you kept your style on the two first rounds, and then went for it, and lost on a controversy decision of the judges. What Lyoto will we see now? That proved Rampage is a tough guy, but that when I really decided to go for it and try to solve things, I had a great advantage.

How are things going this time? Are you training with somebody? He and Pedro Rizzo fit our profile as athletes and people. Since Rampage, no one held this weight title, like happened to Shogun, who was beaten up by Jon Jones.

What are your thoughts about this fight? So nobody knows what happened before the fight, on the backstage, on his trainings, if he had some problem. How do you like Jon Jones? So far, of the top guys, he had only fought Ryan Bader. What do you think about thin as an athlete, and this big jump on his career? Many people say your game style could beat him up. Do you agree with them? My next step is fighting Couture, and the next step is always the most important for me.

Do you want a third fight with him? Of course. People thought about Anderson VS. Pierre, but after that performance, now the new wish is Anderson VS. Jon Jones. Do you think it could happen? I think so. What can we hope of Lyoto in ? This competitor will make you grow, just like what happens to us, athletes. How do you see things now with this earthquakes and tsunamis?

Second, I wanted to focus on getting technically better in all areas of MMA. Lucas is scheduled to meet Heather Martin of Jackson, Tenn. I have basically been either training or rehabbing my knee for the past six months. I am looking forward to fighting, taking a week off, and then getting back into the gym. I am in great shape, well prepared and am ready to test myself on Saturday. But there's no question at all that Bellator continues to sign talented fighters. Heavyweight Tony Johnson is the latest acquisition to demonstrate just how good Bellator is at attracting top fighters: Bellator formally announced Thursday that Johnson has signed, and that he'll fight the Carlos Flores at Bellator 41 on April Calling Johnson one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world isn't just a promoter's hyperbole: The year-old Johnson is in his MMA career, with the only loss coming to Strikeforce's Daniel Cormier.

He's an outstanding athlete, has a good wrestling background, and Bloody Elbow just called him the No. Johnson said he's already eying a shot at Bellator's heavyweight champion, Cole Konrad. It would mean everything to me to become the next Bellator heavyweight champion. I plan on getting better and better every time I enter that cage.

With young heavyweights like Johnson and Konrad, who are already good and getting better, it's hard not to like the future of Bellator, in terms of the quality of the fighters in the cage. The only question is whether we should like the future of Bellator in terms of the ability of the promotion to draw TV audiences, attract ticket buyers and make enough money to stay in business. Four months after their ill-fated original meeting was to take place, Erik Koch and Cub Swanson will finally get to square off.

Koch and Swanson were first paired for UFC Live 3 on March 3, but Swanson was forced to withdraw due to a tooth infection just 10 days prior to the bout. Ben Askren was booked for a radio interview on Sherdog. Without much of an introduction, Askren jumped right into the fray and stood up for the Bellator Lightweight champion. He believes that winning is the primary objective and that fighters who fight for bonuses like the Leonard Garcias, the Chris Lytles, the Jorge Gurgels of the world are losers.

When you consider, if you go out there and say you go out like a sprint pace, like you go hard and Eddie Alvarez went to take his head off in the first two minutes, he might have gassed out in two minutes and lost the fight. And you got to win before you show. So, obviously, he can do it. Most of them just want to see someone get knocked out cold.

Ben also jumped into another hot-topic discussion, which is the concept of UFC wanting teammates to fight each other. Consider Ben squarely in the corner of Cesar Gracie on the topic. Askren was doing the media rounds to promote his upcoming fight on Saturday night against Nick Thompson. He explains his high level of confidence as more or less factually-based rationalization. When I was in college wrestling, I won by big points and I took the guys who are the best college wrestlers in the nation, I took them down lots of time in a match.

I try to be an intelligent fighter like I try to be an intelligent wrestler. I understand how good the best people in the world at my weight class are. I really do. I want to see how good I can get, get there as fast as I can, do it, say OK, I did it, and then calm down, have a family, and live happily ever after, I guess. At , Ford has been one of the brightest prospects to come out of Canada in recent years, but has stumbled a couple of times in higher profile fights.

Two losses to current Strikeforce lightweight Pat Healy, as well as a submission loss to current MFC champion Douglas Lima mark the only losses of his career. Outside of those 3 fights, Ford has been fairly dominant throughout his career finishing 13 of his 14 fights inside the distance.

Parisyan will look to get his career back on track when he faces a very hungry fighter in Ryan Ford in May. The bout will be a part of the MMA Live 1 card taking place in London, Ontario under the new sanctioning for mixed martial arts in the province. Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Lyle Beerbohm Robert Peralta -Brett Albee vs. Virgil Zwicker -Saad Awad vs. Joe Duarte -Herman Terrado vs. Matthews -Edgar Cardenas vs. Rolando Perez -Casey Ryan vs.

Paul Song Go to www. Location: Kaiser High School Gym. Event Schedule:. Kids Weigh-Ins: 8. Adult Weigh-Ins: 9. Gilbert Melendez defends his lightweight belt against tough Tatsuya Kawajiri, veteran of many a memorable war in Japanese promotions. Paul Daley. The Matchup: Despite being 27, Diaz is one of the most experienced fighters in the game, and his improvement shows in every fight.

With a busy standup style that keeps opponents overwhelmed and guessing, he collides with Daley, perhaps the most dangerous one-shot striker in MMA. Over the last two years, both men have proven overwhelming in the standup game but for vastly different reasons. Diaz wins due to volume, good combinations and intelligently placed shots, often throwing arm punches just to keep guys defensive while wearing them out. He also has one of the best chins in the game, and since nobody wants to plunge into his dangerous guard, he pretty much fights this way all night.

Daley, meanwhile, is a high-octane banger with huge power. He explodes with the kind of shots that send people into unconsciousness and relishes the chance to plant his feet and trade. He is a powerful welterweight and turns his body into every shot.

Both guys did better than most foes against Diaz, and Daley has the tools to exploit those openings if Diaz offers them. Diaz does not figure to have an easy time switching to a ground fight, either. His takedowns have traditionally been marginal, and Daley has decent takedown defense; he gave Jake Shields a good battle before finally being planted and submitted in the second round back in Diaz is going to eat some bombs in this fight, and his chin is going to be tested severely.

If he comes to wear down Daley with his usual stand-and-fling style, he will have to expect to eat his share of booming counter hooks, kicks and everything else thrown back at him. What makes Diaz so tough is his ability to adjust in the middle of a difficult fight and keep his head. Superior wrestlers have held him down and outworked him to decision wins, but he can always pull guard or wear down Daley in the clinch, then hit a takedown or a big strike to stun his man.

He is great at catching opponents in exchanges and exploiting openings. Diaz has been legitimately knocked out just once -- early in his career, in the first of his three fights with Jeremy Jackson -- but if there is anyone in the game who could put him to sleep, it is Daley. The key factor is what Diaz does if a standing fight is not to his advantage.

If he keeps slugging, he loses, but if he adjusts and looks to take it to the mat, his path to victory becomes much easier. Expect Daley to light up Diaz early, forcing the Stockton, Calif. Diaz will oblige him for the first two rounds, then work to wear down Daley.

Over five rounds, he will eventually find a way to get the fight to the mat, where his grappling pedigree and great conditioning make him so tough. The Pick: Diaz by submission in four. This is a bout that promises truckloads of violence and big swings of momentum, but, at the end of the day, Diaz should have enough conditioning and mojo to pull out the win.

Tatsuya Kawajiri. The Matchup: Hard-driving, fast-paced lightweights collide in a rematch, with the Strikeforce title on the line. In their first scrap in , Melendez took a unanimous decision, using superior wrestling and control. Since then, both have improved. Kawajiri is tough and resilient and has fought some of the best fighters on the Japanese scene.

Prior to that fight, he would usually stand just enough to set up a takedown attempt. Now, he really looks comfortable in the pocket and can operate from there at length. However, Melendez is excellent at squirming out of bad positions, as well as getting the upper hand in wild scrambles and transitions. In a five-round fight, he is also pretty much impossible to stop. The Pick: Melendez is definitely looking to make a splash with the world watching, wondering how he will eventually fare against the lightweights of the UFC.

He will hold it down here, banging out a clear-cut decision win as he pushes the pace and wears down Kawajiri. Lightweights Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm. The Matchup: Aoki is one of the few fighters in the game able to compete at a world-class level, essentially as a one-tool guy. He is perfectly content to let opponents put him down and take their chances in his amazing guard, where he uncorks a dizzying assault of submissions.

In his last fight, he was decisioned by Pat Healy, as he was outgrappled in spots and ran out of answers against the tough veteran. The decision of when to shoot and force a mat battle will be key in this matchup for Beerbohm. There is the chance he could sprawl and brawl, using shots to frustrate Aoki while denying him a chance to unleash his marvelous ground game. It would probably be a smart decision, especially early, when quick submissions are much easier before both guys get sweaty and fatigued.

Healy, a tough veteran, showed that Beerbohm may be a little undersized for lightweight. He also threatened him positionally and with some submission attempts that Aoki would likely finish. Against Gilbert Melendez, Aoki was stifled for five one-sided rounds. Beerbohm is not Melendez, but he can imitate that style for 15 minutes if he plays his cards correctly. The Pick: Aoki is just a tad too experienced and savvy and will land a submission after a lively battle, taking the win in the second round.

Light Heavyweight Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine. When he is on his game, Jardine is one of the tougher outs in the business, taking foes to close decisions on account of a vexing style and a tenacious approach. He does not do anything great, but unless you bomb him out early, he is going to give you a difficult go.

His submissions are solid, though at times he seems a tad too willing to let himself be taken down; it backfired against the powerful Lawal. Jardine could possibly try to plant Mousasi -- whose takedown defense is decent but not world-beating -- and grind out a decision win via a high work rate, but that does not seem likely.

Instead, look for Mousasi to dial in and go to work standing, eventually wearing down Jardine with sharp counters and big kicks, especially to the body and legs. The Pick: This is a great style matchup for Mousasi -- about as good as a guy could hope to get against the tricky and unpredictable Jardine -- and he should have too much firepower, scoring a knockout in three.

But this weekend Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri will have to do it while their homeland is in a state of disarray and the future of MMA in Japan looks increasingly grim. The two Japanese fighters on Saturday night's Strikeforce: Diaz vs.

A stone-faced Kawajiri showed up to Wednesday's open workouts sporting shorts and t-shirt labeled with the simple message, 'Pray for Japan. Where he lives, in the Ibaraki prefecture along the island's eastern coast, damage was extensive and staying focused on preparing for his title fight with lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez wasn't always easy, he said. We're lacking gasoline, and for a while food was hard to get.

Things have gotten better day by day. I have friends who helped me train and workout, and now I am in the best shape. Now I'm concentrated on the fight. But while the stoic Kawajiri did his best to draw attention to the seriousness of the situation, Aoki, who fights Lyle Beerbohm on Saturday night, smiled and shrugged it off, insisting in English that the disaster in Japan was "no problem. The difference between the two countrymen isn't simply a regional one, however.

Aoki -- at once playful and indifferent -- seemed as if he were being intentionally difficult at times, giving one-word answers to some questions and refusing to take others seriously. For instance, when asked what he learned after his first experience in the cage last April, Aoki said, through his translator, "I learned how to solve the jetlag problem; I came two days earlier this time.

USA: lot of money. Simple, direct, and not necessarily inaccurate. Kawajiri, on the other hand, seemed to be taking every issue a little more seriously. He showed up to the workouts with an entourage in tow, and spent a few minutes hitting mitts in the cage that was set up inside the Alliance MMA gym.

Before leaving, Kawajiri and his coach climbed back in the cage so they could practice the start of the fight several times, walking towards each other from opposite sides and then starting all over again, just to get the feel of the surroundings. While Kawajiri said he was intentionally not making himself a representative for all of Japanese MMA, as Aoki did before he faced Melendez, he acknowledged that the outcome of the title fight will likely decide whether his future is back home in Japan or here in the U.

I want to make sure I'm in the field with the UFC lightweights as the best lightweight fighters in the world. He did very little in the way of an actual workout on Wednesday, and his enthusiasm for staking his claim in American MMA with this fight was slightly more muted, to say the least. In these uncertain times, maybe it's best to take it one step at a time.

The platform is not a great one for the promotion. Take note of this for later reference. The shows air on Saturday nights. The time slot is not consistent. Then again, I think a ceiling of , viewers is a little bit underwhelming. During a recent interview with Sherdog, I was struck by the tone of the sales pitch that Mr. Rebney said in regards to why he thinks Bellator is a good star-making platform for up-and-coming fighters in MMA.

One of the problems with Bellator has been what I call the yo-yo effect. Then they were on Fox Sports Net. The ratings were OK but they bounced around in terms of different time slots. Running on Thursday nights, however, was a good idea. They get MMA better than anybody in television. They know how to shoot it, they know how to produce it, they know how to promo it.

He does make a fair point that the suits do have familiarity with MMA. However, the platform and demographics matter more. Just ask UFC how things with Versus are going. That is the driving force behind the brand development and maturation of The Ultimate Fighting Championship is that show on Spike network.

And that show has allowed us to tune in, fans to tune in week-after-week, year-after-year and see the development of stars, to see guys come out, tos ee the development of the brand, to listen to the brand messaging, to be pointed to PPVs, etc.

That week-in, week-out, same-time same-place channel development and partnership is the key to building out a Mixed Martial Arts organization. You have to produce great shows, you have to have great content, you have to have great partners and just build it. I mean, they were the perfect alliance and partnership.

Spike has done an amazing job building up the UFC. In other words, people kind of know what MTV is about, what MTV2 is about but, you know, I think if we can continue to do strong numbers on Saturday nights and we can continue to grow them at a regular time slot, I think we can impact how people perceive MTV2 as an outlet for live sports competition as opposed to kind of the typical content and format that they play on MTV2. I think we can build them.

An interview answer that made me chuckle was when Mr. Read how he frames the demographic he attracts and makes it sound as good as the demos UFC appeals to. I mean, when you look at places at like Disney and places like Viacom, major entertainment giants in our space, they control a multitude of different networks. They control a multitude of different distribution platforms. I mean, they control and own an awful lot of different things that we watch and tune into and buy tickets to see.

Trying to argue which demographic is more financially valuable is, of course, laughable. UFC draws the demographic which spends money on PPVs and tickets and features people who, hopefully, have gainful employment and are willing to spend some of their income on purchasing what Zuffa is selling. And, if you take that into account, so far the message of watching the show on MTV2 is not working to increase ratings.

It costs money to air live every weekend on satellite. It costs money to pay fighters like Eddie Alvarez. To have so many shows and a limited amount of office staff to promote the live events can be challenging.

Just on the outside-looking-in, the gut feeling one might have is that right now things are kind of like a tight-wire act, especially with the pound elephant in the room with UFC. I do think the comments made about not necessarily hitting PPV are interesting. One of the big reasons, in my opinion, that UFC went after the Strikeforce assets is because SF was eventually going to have to make it on PPV in order to make their promotion financially strong and profitable.

The lawsuit is proof of that. PPV has to be the end-game for Bellator long-term if they want to be profitable. So, I like our strategy, I like our business model. You build guys out, you do it quickly, you do it on national television, you give them three fights in 90 days and they go from being a virtual unknown in the general market to being a well-known commodity. But, yeah, Bellator has never been and will not be a landing spot for castoffs from other organizations.

Marlon Sandro is coming over, Ronnie Mann is coming over, those are two stars from Japan at , both of them ranked in the Top 12 in the world. We signed Ben Saunders. Bellator has signed a lot of guys recently. Considered to be one of the greatest fighters in the world after the success achieved in WEC, Aldo promises to keep the hard trainings for UFC shows.

How were your trainings in Netherlands, with Andy Souwer? The trainings were great, we can still find little flaws, but of course two weeks is not long enough to try and do something completely new, but in the future I intend to go there and stay for a while so I can absorb more and learn new things. It was great, but we can see we still can get better. Did he give you any striking tips? How are the expectations for this first belt defense as a UFC champion? Do you fear this time off you had to take because of your injury can disturb you in any way?

Not at all. What do you think about Hominick? Now, Kenny Florian went down and will face your training partner, Diego Nunes. What do you think about that bout? Diego is growing a lot in the event and a win over Kenny Florian will put him close to the belt, which is yours. How do you see this situation? Man, I see it as a natural thing.

Exactly, like if he was my guardian. Does it give you the chills? I see it as the fight of my life. What do you expect of the show, which will have St. Good fights, I hope both shows are good. We cheer for him. But I hope Lyoto wins. Silva's hearing before the commission took place on Thursday morning in Las Vegas, and he appeared without the benefit of an attorney, taking full blame for the incident and explaining how and why he did it.

According to MMAJunkie. Silva said the act was caused out of desperation to return to the cage, saying he needed to earn money to help support his family and dependents. Prior to UFC , the year-old had not fought in over a year largely due to his injured back, and said he was "completely broke.

His ruse, however, was discovered when two of his samples proved "inconsistent with human urine" during testing. In speaking with the commission, Silva admitted to turning his back to a commission inspector, opening the purchased sample, and pouring it into the test vial. According to MMA Junkie, the commission promised to reevaluate its methods for conducting tests to make sure a similar incident does not occur in the future.

Silva's license revocation will run to Jan. Meanwhile, the result of his fight with Vera -- originally a Silva unanimous decision -- has been officially changed to a no-contest. Vera, who was cut shortly after the fight, has since been brought back into the UFC fold.

Silva made no public comment to reporters upon leaving the hearing. Gegard Mousasi sees his matchup Saturday against Keith Jardine as a huge opportunity. This fight is important. I think this one is a deal breaker or maker. I need to win this one. Mousasi also believes a win over Jardine and a subsequent victory over Henderson could set up another big bout.

First, though, Mousasi must get by Jardine. Mousasi did not sound fazed by the opponent switch. My training is just sparring. Just train, and fighting is fighting. People make like a science of the fighting. I train for a fight. Mousasi said he was told that he would be fighting Kyle in February, then in March, then in April. You train four months and there was a lack of concentration and motivation.

The motivation is there now, however, since the UFC bought Strikeforce. I hope they like my style. Penn due to injury. Now the July 2 card has lost Penn as well. The former lightweight and welterweight champion has been forced off the UFC card with an undisclosed injury. Sources close to the situation indicated Penn has ruled himself out of the July card due to an injury, which at this time has not be disclosed as to its severity.

Now it appears an injury is why. Currently, the main event for UFC will feature bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz against Urijah Faber, while the addition of middleweights Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben could serve as a co-main event.

With the show still several months away, more high profile bouts could be added to the card as well. Daley by Mike Sloan. The showdown promises to be a thriller, as the styles of both combatants mesh perfectly. The pros think they know the answer. Ricardo Liborio: Nick Diaz is more well-rounded and fights five rounds over and over. It will be an amazing fight. Dan Hardy: Daley by KO in the second round. Diaz will try walking forward [and] punching like usual, but [he] will get hit hard and cut in the first round.

The second round will be the same with Diaz trying to get the fight to the floor, but failing. He will get hurt with a knee and knocked out towards the end of the round with a left hook. Frank Shamrock: Nick [wins]. Javier Vazquez: If Nick Diaz fights smart, he will use his striking to get the takedown and submit Daley.

Diaz sometimes has a habit of trying to beat guys at their own game. It might cost him in this fight [if he does that]. I still pick Diaz to win by submission. Nick also has tons of experience dealing with good strikers. Nick has always cracked me up; he is as real as it gets.

I am going with Nick. Gilbert Melendez: Diaz by whatever he wants. Erik Paulson: Nick Diaz is a stud. He needs to take him down and finish him on the ground. Be like water my friend! Mike Whitehead: Diaz by KO in the second round. Travis Wiuff: I think Diaz is one of the most underrated fighters out there. I love his attitude. I am taking Diaz by second-round stoppage.

Mike Easton: Nick wins. Doug Marshall: I think Diaz will wear him down like he always does. Cyborg blasted his legs about 30 times and he kept coming! Sam Hoger: How can Daley beat Diaz? A riddle it will be! On the ground Diaz [is] better and standing he has a bit too much reach.

And to talk trash in this case I think he is singing the wrong song because Diaz will be way too much by the time this day is gone. I'll be rooting for Daley though. Tim Kennedy: The only chance Paul has is in the first round. Nick is the better wrestler, grappler, and perhaps ever more rounded as a striker.

I see Nick playing the up-and-down game and finishing off Daley by submission in the fourth round. Nick Diaz will use his long jab and machine-gun punches while Semtex will be looking to land his game-changing left hook and low kicks to neutralize his opponent.

After watching a much smaller Jorge Masvidal use his superior boxing to avoid damage and frustrate Daley, I think Diaz will be able to do much of the same. The fact that Nick is a southpaw will make it very difficult for Daley to land that big left hook. I believe Semtex will eat a hefty serving of right jabs and straight-left hands right down the pipe early and will be forced into using low kicks only trying to stay on the outside of Diaz's long-range punching. I don't think this is an easy fight for Nick Diaz but in my opinion he has many more ways to win this fight.

Paul Daley always have that one punch KO power, but I just don't think he will be able to pull it off against the iron-chinned Diaz. Should be a very exciting fight, but at the end Nick Diaz will remain Champ. Diaz by TKO. Keith Berry: Diaz is tough as s--t. He will weather the storm and get the TKO in the third or fourth. He might get a little rocked, but he will get the W. Michael Guymon: Daley is one hell of a dangerous fighter with the power he possesses in his hands. Unfortunately he is fighting someone like Nick.

Ray Elbe: This is a great fight Styles make fights and Diaz uses the clinch for takedowns, which will expose him to Daley's striking and muay Thai clinch. I hate picking against a Cesar Gracie guy, but because of the matchup Daley by KO in the second round. Benji Radach: Diaz has the ability to win this fight by utilizing all his skills. However, Daley has some good takedown defense that could frustrate Diaz and cause him to receive a knuckle sandwich that doesn't taste well.

This being said, if Diaz scrambles or sets up a good takedown, I'd say Diaz wins by a nasty choke. However, if Diaz can't force or set up a good shot I see some serious punch-drunk action in Diaz's near future! Jason Miller: I usually don't weigh-in on [fight predictions], but I think I should comment here. This is a style clash that will result in a loss for Diaz. Diaz' weak link is undoubtedly his takedowns: he had a mountain of trouble taking down a much smaller K. Noons, and in a pure kickboxing contest, Daley has a definite advantage.

Although Diaz is a more well-rounded fighter, it is doubtful that we will get to see a lot on the ground in this fight. Daley by KO. I think this fight will look a lot like the Diaz vs. Cyborg fight, or worst-case scenario: the Daley vs. Shields fight. Diaz is gonna take some shots and have a few close calls, but eventually he wears Daley down, gets him to the floor and wins by armbar or rear-naked choke.

Diaz has a lot of ways to win this fight while Daley has only a left hook. Stephane Vigneault : Diaz by submission in round two. Gabe Ruediger: Going with Diaz. Should be an entertaining fight and I really think Daley will be competitive, but Diaz's ground and gas tank are the deciding factors. Sean Loeffler : OK well this one is an easy one for me.

Nick Diaz is by far my favorite MMA athlete of all time I say athlete because he is not just a fighter. I really love the way he fights and moves in the cage. Secondly, Paul Daley has a bad attitude and threw a horrible cheap shot after the Koscheck fight. I say horrible because it was completely ineffective. It would have been cool if it fu--ed him up. Not because I don't like Josh -- he's tough -- it just would have been the only clean shot Paul landed all night.

Anyways, percent: Diaz murders Daley Billy MacDonald : The question on everyone's mind is will this be the fight where we get an elusive sighting of Nick Diaz's ground game? I personally don't think so, but I think that it won't matter anyways as Diaz avoids too many shots and utilizes his reach. Tom Vaughn: This is the biggest Strikeforce fight ever, I'm pumped for this match.

Paul Daley is a dangerous man for anyone, including himself. With one punch KO power, Daley can end a fight at any point before, during or after. In this fight, Nick Diaz can not risk taking a punch to give one as he usually does. Nick needs to fight smart early and gain ground as the fight progresses. I don't know why, how, or when but I think Nick Diaz will find a way to win this fight.

Nick Diaz by miracle. If Nick wants to bring this fight to the ground, he will find a way to get it there. Daley has been able to give jiu-jitsu fighters difficulty in the past, but Nick is not your typical jiu-jitsu fighter. I see this fight coming down to one main component: who wants it more. Nick is on an impressive streak and has had a chip on his shoulder for years. Everyone watching him fight can see this. The streak will continue with Diaz pulling off a sub or TKO towards the end of the second.

Eric Pele: I got Diaz all day on this one. Diaz by third-round stoppage. Jorge Lopez: I think in order for Daley to beat Diaz he has to kick the s--t out of his non-checking leg and avoid being taken down. I want Diaz to win and think he will via submission in the third.

It was a hard sparring day. Nick was getting over aggressive so I hit him once and he paused for a brief second, then flew backwards as if he were superman and was dazed on the floor. Nick Diaz will put Daley down and submit him in the second round. Thereafter Shoeless Joe Jackson and the seven other players banned in the Black Sox scandal, despite all of them having died many years prior, emerged from my corn and began to play baseball on the field.

Despite the field driving me into bankruptcy, there was no way I was going to get rid of the baseball field. In fact, I followed the whisper, yet again, when it led me to take famed s activist author Derrick Noble, who had since become a recluse, to a baseball game. At the game, we both had a vision that led us to visit Chisholm, Minn.

On the way home from Chisholm, Derrick and I picked up a hitchhiker; a young ball player -- who, somehow, happened to be the one and same ballplayer-turned-doctor who had died many years prior. Once back at my farm, the ball player-turned-doctor joined the other ball players. All of it was truly unbelievable and, in fact, many did not believe it. For example, my brother-in-law still could not see the ball players and was very upset that the field was driving us into bankruptcy.

He was also upset that my daughter could see the ballplayers and thought that we were making her delusional. During a confrontation about the bankruptcy, my brother-in-law accidentally dropped my daughter and she began to choke. Off of the field walked the ball player-turned-doctor and he was transformed from the young kid into the old doctor.

My brother-in-law could then finally see the players and understood why we were not selling. Derrick Noble was invited into the corn from where the dead players were coming to see what was on the other side. And then I was rewarded for following the voice. My father, a huge baseball fan, who had passed away many years prior, was catching for the team.

I got to meet him and play catch -- something I refused to do as a kid and always regretted. Some of the big-name athletes will only see action next week, in the gi event. However, things are already heating up in the No-Gi contest, being held for the first time this season. A number of aces are scattered through the brackets, with the under kg standing out as being especially thorny. To check out the brackets, click here. Check out some of the big names from each category:. Two months ago this would have been an unthinkable incursion into enemy territory for a Zuffa employee, and one fueled by heresy in a can.

Now it's the new normal. It seems minor at first, but sometimes it's the little things that signal the start of a big change. As Strikeforce counts down the final days until its first major event under the ownership of Zuffa -- the UFC's parent company -- change is evident in dozens of small ways. If you think the subtle differences are lost on the fighters, think again.

They run better," said former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi, who lounged in one corner of the gym on Wednesday afternoon after a little light work to prepare for his bout with former UFC fighter Keith Jardine. As a fighter, I like things like buses going to and from the shops.

Small things, but it makes a difference. For instance, take the open workouts themselves. For the UFC, it's a mainstay of the fight week PR schedule, something you can mark on your calendar the moment you know the date of the next event. Fighters come in like clockwork, go through the motions of hitting pads or choking out sparring partners for the cameras, and then they do the media rounds and get out before they have to share much mat time with their opponents.

It's not just the media that notices differences like these. Even lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez remarked upon the new sensation of having Zuffa hovering over the fight week activities while Strikeforce's staff mostly faded into the background. It's more than just having a firmer schedule to go by on fight week, Melendez pointed out. Now he has "the marketing machine of the UFC behind [him]," and the difference is palpable.

Fellow Strikeforce lightweight Lyle Beerbohm, who showed up to the workouts in a pair of colorful shorts that made UFC director of communications Dave Sholler remark that he finally understood why Beerbohm went by the nickname "Fancy Pants," echoed the sentiment. You can tell there's more stuff going on, more press, all that.

It's nice. Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz, who was scheduled to lead off Wednesday afternoon's workouts at the Alliance MMA gym, never showed up at all. All day long there were rumors of Diaz, but never Diaz himself.

Just the fact that Zuffa managed to get him on a media conference last week was impressive enough, but when it comes to getting the notoriously media shy Diaz to turn up on time and talk into a camera just days before his fight, even the best PR staff has limits. But while the increased structure and media attention are certainly the perks of the Strikeforce sale, fighters are aware that they come at a price.

You've got to stay sharp on your game. There's a flood of fighters in the game, but there's a high demand for some real talent out there. I feel like you've got to work hard to be that talent. Melendez added that he hopes "Strikeforce stays Strikeforce," in part because he's the man currently wearing the promotion's pound belt, and also because he recently signed a new contract that he's pleased with. Obviously it's a little more cutthroat I was a big fish in a small pond, and now I'm a pretty good-sized fish in the ocean.

That means I've got to perform, got to deliver, and I think I'll fit in really well. The hardest part for many of the fighters is the uncertainty of the situation. While UFC president Dana White said it would be "business as usual" at Strikeforce after the sale, all it takes is one cursory glance around this week to tell that's not the case.

It makes it difficult for fighters to tell whether their goal should be to climb the Strikeforce ladder, or whether they should be focused on auditioning for the UFC with each outing. There's basically one major organization, so you know, don't screw up? That's pretty much it. In the fight game, that's easier said than done. What's a positive change for some could easily turn out to be disastrous to others.

In the end, at least according to Mousasi, it boils down to a very simple equation. Just win your fights. If you're good, you'll make it. That's the hope, anyway. For fighters, it's the only part of the game that never changes. The producers of the event, Carlson Gracie Jr. Jiu-Jitsu legend Rickson Gracie will be in attendance for the match of his son, Kron.

The fight was not pretty to watch, but Mr. Alvarez played it smart and did some damage to Curran who hung around and survived. With Strikeforce fighters now under the Zuffa banner, the amount of competition remaining for Eddie Alvarez has thinned out.

Things fell through when Bellator and Strikeforce never seriously got to the table about doing some co-promotional fights. Gilbert Melendez any time soon. Eddie recently did an interview with Josh Gross audio here and made some very blunt, candid statements about where his career is at and how he would react should circumstances change. He was asked about where he felt his standing was in the MMA landscape with guys like Gilbert Melendez now under the Zuffa banner. Alvarez tried to walk a fine line but remain honest about his feelings regarding the UFC.

That scares me. The Bellator Lightweight champ says that when it comes to fighting, he would like to fight the best but he also has to weigh his financial obligations and make the best business decision. At what cost to me? Do I have to, what measures do I have to take in order to fight them guys? Do I have give up all my, every single ancillary right I can dream of? But the reality is that I have three kids and I have a family to take care of and everything has to line up.

His best days are behind him, though, according to Askren. I feel like I can go in there and dominate [and] really win everywhere. Not just with my wrestling. The two meet Saturday at Bellator 40 in Newkirk, Okla. Olympic freestyle team. With that said, Askren did credit Thompson as a veteran of the game. He expects Thompson to have a few tricks, including some submission attempts.

What are your thoughts about the fight, when you did a good job defending his takedown? I did well, I defended the positions both on the grid and while standing. On the second round things were happening like I planned them to, but then he came with a single leg takedown and, when I tried to stand-up, I slipped and he grabbed my back.

On the third round I was doing ok, but he took me down and held me there forever. I swept, but then he came and held me again until the end. It was a tough fight. I have to train more and more and play my game to knock them out. What do you think about your improvement on defending the takedowns?

I was training a lot with Darrel Gohlar, but he left, and lately I was training by myself, until Antoine and his brother, Adrian Jaoude , went training at my gym, and it made a big difference on this fight. We did a strong work for this bout, but I was confident and made a mistake.

It started fine and he started scoring points at the end of the second round. Phil Davis is a very good wrestler, he has better takedowns than Ryan Bader, he has a great variety of coups, like Cain Velasquez. I have to keep training. Do you think it should a flaw on your game that you need to work on? He played a game where he was clearly worried about defending himself.

He was going to punch me, but then he stepped back.

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