Paul Daley is not the first to gas in the octagon and he probably won’t be the last. That physical lapse, as in many other fights before him, was the half the story behind why Daley failed to kick Nick Diaz’s you-know-what and take his Strikeforce Welterweight belt in San Diego tonight. The other half of the story – the incontrovertible half – was Nick Diaz is one bad mofo. He proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he deserves the Strikeforce welterweight belt beyond the 10 man tear he has been on lately. And twice during that intense first round, Diaz proved that he could take a punch way better than the bombastic Daley. Starting with the trash talking in the opening seconds, Diaz went on to pummel the stocky Brit into an early daze that had him looking for a take-down. (My oh my, talk about turning the tables on the Brit who usually punches other fighters into early KO or TKO!) A wobbled Daley recovered from that early pummeling and true to customary form knocked Diaz down twice but could not – for the life of the Queen – finish the American wunderkind. What gave? Well quite a few things actually. Diaz was no Koscheck for starters! He came out to prove that and then some right from the opening moments.
What We Learned Tonight:
1. Nick Diaz is one bad mofo: The kind you don’t wanna pick a fight with in a crowded bar unless you have more that what Paul Daley brought to the octagon tonight. Daley could cow Josh Koscheck into covering up and going for rope-a-dope-smothering, but not Nick Diaz. Not this Nick Diaz. He was out to prove that his balls were bigger and darn blacker than Paul Daley’s and by Jove he did!
2. Daley is in danger of losing his Mike Tyson moment if he doesn’t work on:
(a) Serious, serious conditioning. Gasing in the opening moments of a fight is no way to achieve MMA stardom. Not with the emerging crop of MMA wunderkinds.
(b) Daley needs to learn pinpoint striking in the fashion of Cain Velasquez, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. He wasted a lot of huff and puff flailing away like a bloody noob. Darn embarrassing was what it was. Yep, embarrassing.
3. The fight could have gone Daley’s way at two points that he knocked Diaz down with that deadly hook of his. Beyond Diaz’s serious boxing chops that rocked Daley twice, it came down to who could absorb punishment better. Diaz proved that he was that man. A ton of kudos to the young Nick. He earned his stripes tonight!
4. Daley’s trash talking as an Olympic sport has to stop, unless of course he can stand and deliver like he has in the past. He really needs to join Cain Velasquez’s gym (the American KickBoxing Academy) and put in the long hours that it takes to make him a force to be reckoned with before father time robs him of his opportunity to shine.
Perchance Daley misses this post, please e-mail it to him. It just could save his career. Daley is just way to young and too promising of a fighter to end up like Cheikh Kongo.
Google Strikeforce, Nick Diaz vs Paul Daley 04/09/11.
Is an eventual rematch written all over this one? Ya betcha. And Paul Daley has a better than average chance of knocking Diaz on his ass if he works on his conditioning and increases the accuracy of his striking. Bookmark this post for reference if you doubt the contention.
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