The main card opened with a lightweight bout between Japanese sensation Shinya Aoki and American Lyle Beerbohm, but this clash was over as fast at it began. A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, Aoki needed just 1:39 to subimit Beerbohm with a devastating neck crank for his fourth straight Vegas Odds victory. Three of those four wins have been clinched via submission, as Aoki continues to establish his self as a force in the division while Beerbohm continues to slide after a second consecutive sports betting bonus defeat.
The next bout was one of the most highly anticipated of the night, with former UFC light heavyweight contender Keith Jardine debuting in Strikeforce against Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi was deducted a point in the opening round for delivering an illegal upkick, and that penalty would ultimately cost him the decision as the judges called the fight a majority draw. After consecutive wins over Jake O’Brien and Tatsuya Mizuno, the draw has to be frustrating for Mousasi, but at just 25-years old he will have plenty of time to prove he belongs. He did an excellent job of defending himself against Jardine’s veteran ground game, and although he was taken down a couple of times, he managed to get back to his feet quick enough to avoid any significant damage.
A couple of matchups with significant title implications paved the way for two championship showdowns to close out the night. First, Gilbert Melendez successfully defended his lightweight title against Tatsuya Kawajiri in a match that lasted just 3:14. Melendez needed just 3:14 to knock out Kawajiri with a flurry of strikes, extending his win streak to five after temporarily losing his online sports betting title to Josh Thomson back in 2008.
The night ended with a main event that lived up to all of the hype, as the welterweight champion battled back to successfully defend his title. Nick Diaz was knocked down to the mat twice by No. 1 contender Paul Daley, but managed to regain his composure and score the knockout blow at the 4:57 mark of an absolutely explosive first round. Similar to Brock Lesnar’s performance against Shane Carwin when he defended his UFC betting Heavyweight championship, Diaz seemed on the brink of consciousness before bouncing back to score the knockout. The win dominated the headlines for what was a thrilling event at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley, serving as the perfect prelude to Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum Vegas Odds matchup in June.
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