Time for the main event, or co-main event as the case may be.
Evangelista Santos enters first and suffice it to say the Brazilian is not the crowd darling tonight. He does get pyrotechnic treatment, however. He's flanked by his champion wife, Chris, and opts for that common heraldic tune that you might find in Gladiator, Braveheart or something along those lines.
It actually might be the same as that used by the UFC to hype every main card.
The champion gets a heroes welcome from the San Jose arena as everyone looks to be on their feet for his entrance. Can't place his music.
For the record, I'm a big Nick Diaz fan—I can take all the mean-mugging and extracurricular stuff because my man is a beast in the cage. Considering the brawling rep of the two participants, this one doesn't feature to go the full five.
Damn, the HP Pavilion is absolutely savaging Cyborg. That's pretty rough treatment for a guy who gives both barrels every time out and whose only sin is not being Nick Diaz.
Josh Rosenthal gets the action.
No touching of gloves here as Cyborg comes out throwing spinning kicks and Diaz adopts his usual pose, equal parts taunting and reaching in anticipatory defense.
Evangelista is sticking with the kicks until the Stockton Bad Boy gets close enough. At that point, the Brazilian unleashes with his ferocious hooks to the body, but they trouble the American not at all. He smiles, taunts and lands a shot to Santos' dome.
Cyborg isn't backing down (does he ever?) as he wings a salvo of power hots that do some damage to the champ. One scuffs up his face while a few more land to the body. They're followed by some chopping leg kicks that have Diaz spinning almost completely around.
Another fierce combination lands for Cybord, but Diaz simply eggs him on.
Now it's Nick's turn to go on the offensive as Evengelista's head starts snapping back with regularity. One particular smashing straight left staggers Santos back to the fence and forces him to cover up as Diaz wades in with measured shots to the body and shoulders.
A leg kick is checked by Diaz as the back-and-forth starts in earnest, but the horn ends it. Call it a close 10-9 round for the champ.
Cyborg is definitely looks like he's throwing the bigger power punches, but Diaz reminds me of a power pitcher with an easy delivery—appearances can be deceiving.
it looks like Diaz just peppers his opponent with irritating little shots, but then he'll mix one in that sends his prey reeling backwards.
Anyway, the second round finds Diaz back in his comfort zone—landing those gnat-like jabs that seem to frustrate or distract his adversaries until an opening for a larger shot presents itself. Additionally, his superior conditioning is coming into play as Santos has slowed considerably.
The Brazilian's still throwing and lands with a few knees, then a spinning back kick.
All to no avail as Diaz uses the kick to secure a takedown, lock onto an arm that subsequently sends both men into a rolling frenzy and then finishes with a vicious armbar that ends the fight as quickly as you please.
Nick Diaz defeats Evangelista Santos by submission (armbar) at 4:50 of the second round.
The San Jose crowd boos a crying Chris Santos—not its finest moment.
That's nine straight wins for the Strikeforce Welterweight Champion.
Can you say Georges St-Pierre?
**Click Here To Learn More About the Paralyzed Veterans of America**