• Strikeforce: Diaz v Daley

Daley predicts Diaz will wimp out of slugfest

ESPN staff
March 29, 2011

Paul Daley predicts Nick Diaz will back out of a toe-to-toe brawl on April 9 because too much is on the line for the American.

Daley and Diaz are preparing to square off for the Strikeforce welterweight title, knowing their collision holds new importance following Zuffa's recent takeover of the organisation.

The Briton is a trademark Rough House fighter, boasting awesome striking skills with a weakness in takedown defence. Diaz has made a name out of exciting tear-ups but can also mix it on the mat, a tactic Daley predicts he will use come fight night.

"Diaz will come at me and take me down," Daley told The MMADigest. "Not because he wants to but because I believe Cesar Gracie will instruct him too. I think they know how good my stand-up is and when something so big is on the line, I think the sensible thing for Diaz is to do is try and take me down.

"[Josh] Koscheck said he was going to stand with me, didn't end up happening because of the risk of The Ultimate Fighter show, and it's pretty much the same here, this is the welterweight title. So I think his management will tell him to try and take me down."

Diaz has won his last nine fights, defending his belt twice, while Daley has won his last four. The Briton is adamant his punching power will ensure the title bout does not go five rounds when the pair collide in two weeks' time.

"I think [our] staredown will be very interesting," said Daley. "But I think Nick knows this is the hardest fight for a long time. I truly believe that. And if he doesn't believe that, I think Cesar Gracie and his team-mates, [Gilbert] Melendez and [Jake] Shields, know this is his hardest fight for a long time.

"I've always had a strong left and I've been developing it through training and conditioning. It seems to be paying off for me really well. You know, it's my killer move, it's my go-to move. I'm going to knock him out within three rounds. I think he's going to have difficulty clinching me, going to have difficulty taking me down, shooting from the outside. And he's going to have difficulty dealing with my power and speed, whether it be punches, or kicks or elbows or whatever."

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