• Strikeforce: Diaz v Daley

Diaz understands Daley's 'cheap shot' against Koscheck

ESPN staff
April 9, 2011

Nick Diaz has confessed he understood what was going through Paul Daley's mind when the Briton delivered the sucker punch that led to his life-time dismissal from the UFC. The American was speaking ahead of Friday's Strikeforce weigh-in, which confirmed both title bouts will go ahead as Diaz, Daley, Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri all made weight.

Diaz and Daley have had little bad blood between them in the build-up to Saturday's Strikeforce welterweight title clash, despite being two of the most controversial characters in the sport. Daley's exit from the UFC was prompted by a post-fight punch on Koscheck in 2009, while Diaz has been known to renew battle with an opponent at post-fight medical examinations.

The Daley dismissal was arguably the most high-profile axing the UFC has delivered, but Diaz says he understands the frustration of being suffocated by a wrestler like Koscheck, who did not appear to be chasing a finish.

Asked about his clash with Daley by MMA Fighting, Diaz stated: "I hope he doesn't hit me with a cheap shot, but I understand what it feels like to be held down for three rounds. This guy (Koscheck) is avoiding the fight, and he wins the fight. The guy who doesn't fight gets to win.

"We used to have another organisation called Pride, and I think it worked out way more for exciting fights, and I think you saw a lot more of the technical aspects come out in the fight. You got a yellow card if you held your opponent, so it forces the guy [on top] to punch him.

"You can't just hold the guy and cheat by bumping little elbows, you had to create the space to punch down on him. That space he needs to create to stop himself getting yellow-carded is the same space I'm trying to make to get my ass back up and fight this guy when he's not trying to fight me.

"I feel like the Japanese kind of knew how the martial arts should be, the more technical boxer, wrestler or jiu-jitsu artist would win by these rules.

"The UFC has always been geared towards wrestling, and I knew I had to start picking it up to win fights. I can be winning, and know that I'm winning on damage in the fight, but I lose on the criteria. I've won fights in the past on damage in my eyes and in [my opponent's] eyes, but in the judges' eyes the other guy won."

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