Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Picks & Predictions

nullStrikeforce returns to Showtime tonight at 10 p.m. ET with two title fights and four total bouts on the main card. Here are my thoughts on those four contests.

Strikeforce Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz (24-7-1) vs. Paul Daley (27-9-2) – I like Diaz to retain his title in this bout as I think he has the better all-around skills. Daley has great punching power but is one dimensional. Once the fight hits the ground, Diaz will easily be in control and score a submission. Don’t sleep on Diaz’ striking either, as his jab has been able to cause problems for other strikers in the past.

Strikeforce Lightweight Championship: Gilbert Melendez (19-2) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2) – Melendez should be able to handle Kawajiri, who is making his first jump into the U.S. Kawajiri didn’t bother to train in a cage for this fight, which I think will be a problem. I like Melendez to work his striking and mix in some takedowns to earn another decision victory.

Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Bout: Gegard Mousasi (30-3-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-9-1) – Jardine is a late replacement for Mike Kyle, but I think he is a tougher opponent. Jardine has some big-fight experience, but has been on a bit of a downslide in his career. This should be a striker’s fight, and Mousasi has the faster hands and more power to work with. I look for him to land a clean punch on Jardine and earn a TKO finish in the second round.

Strikeforce Lightweight Bout: Shinya Aoki (26-5-1) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (16-1): Beerbohm is a game fighter but I think this bout will ultimately go to the ground, and that is where Aoki should be able to take over. His slick and crafty submissions should be too much for Beerbohm to defend. I like Aoki to score a submission victory in the opening round.


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