Though, Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit stands in his path, and if he can overcome that obstacle, then the stage is set for a fight that could have an immense impact on the 170-lb. assemblage.
That said, prior to reaching this phase in his career, the Stockton native had encountered a host of adversaries and still won most of them. However, there are few of those clashes that stand out more so than the others.
Here they are.
Diaz made his Pride debut against the organization's then-reigning lightweight champion Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi at Pride 33.
Initially, Gomi controlled the fight outworking and outstriking the 23-year-old Cesar Gracie fighter—knocking him to the mat whilst on occasion, attempting to wreak havoc in Diaz’s guard.
It was, however, Diaz who ended up locking in a gogoplata to submit the former Shooto welterweight titlist to bring a halt to proceedings.
At that time, his execution of the gogoplata was the first successful application of the submission.
Though later, Diaz was discovered to have tested positive for marijuana, which subsequently resulted in the bout being reversed to a no-contest.
K J Noons took the spoils in their first meeting at EliteXC: Renegade via TKO in Round 1 (doctor stoppage).
Several years later, they would come face-to-face in the steel cage for a second time, though in this instance, Diaz was a much more developed fighter, and to boot, was also the Strikeforce welterweight champion.
In that first defense of his newly-acquired title, Diaz put his ever-improving boxing skills to the test, and with impressive results—winning via unanimous decision, and in the process, successfully defending said title.
Back in 2004—his second fight for the UFC organization—Diaz took on the highly parlous and once-golden boy of the Zuffa-based promotion, Robbie Lawler.
Heading into the bout, Lawler was 8-1 in all competitions, with six of those wins coming by way of stoppage.
Nevertheless, when proceedings got underway, the Stockton native gave the “Ruthless” one all he could handle courtesy of a second-round KO.
This was Diaz’s last fight in the Zuffa-acquired promotion Strikeforce. Defending his welterweight title for the third and final time, he took on the dangerous British striker, Paul “Semtex” Daley.
The opening stanza saw both combatants throwing hell for leather, with one of Daley’s bombs detonating on impact and almost rendering Diaz comatose, but in an improbable come-from-behind victory and against all odds, the 209 son prevailed—winning via TKO in said round.
The reason why this matchup was made in the first place was due to Diaz being bounced from the original main event for no showing at several press-junkets in the build-up to his proposed title clash with UFC welterweight titlist Georges St. Pierre.
Still, his fight with “The Prodigy” was his first foray in the Zuffa-based organization following his departure from the company back in November of 2006.
The fight, per se, was something of a coming out party for Diaz—he put on a boxing clinic on Penn—a pasting that subsequently lead to the retirement of the latter.
Though, Penn has since changed his mind apropos retirement and could soon be strapping on the gloves.
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