On April 9th, live from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA, fighting fans all over the world will be treated to a historic night for Strikeforce as the Zuffa era begins with a welterweight title clash between Stockton Bad Boy Nick Diaz and British Bomber Paul Daley.
Also on the card, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez looks to defend his title against Tatsuya Kawajiri, and we will see the Strikeforce returns of Gegard Mousasi and Shinya Aoki.
The fights may be a couple of weeks away, but it's never too early to share my predictions with you.
Let's all be honest with ourselves, Lyle Beerbohm is a talented fighter and an absolutely great story, but Shinya Aoki is far and away the most talented fighter he has ever faced.
We all know that Aoki is an incredible grappler but his striking is woeful, so if Beerbohm is going to win this fight he will have to keep Aoki from bringing the fight to the ground.
If Beerbohm can't keep the fight standing it will only be a matter of time before Aoki is able to slap on one of his patented bone crushing submissions.
Prediction: Aoki via second-round submission
In what many believe to be a light heavyweight title eliminator fight, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi makes his return to the Strikeforce cage to take on tough and talented knockout artist Mike Kyle.
Both Kyle and Mousasi like to keep the fight standing so expect to see some fireworks.
Kyle definitely has the edge in raw power but Mousasi is far superior technically.
Prediction: Gegard Mousasi via first-round TKO
In a rematch of their PRIDE Shockwave 2006 fight, Strikeforce lightweight champion GIlbert Melendez looks to defend his title against Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Melendez and Kawajiri are very similar fighters and rarely are either in a dull fight.
Melendez has grown a great deal since their last fight and I expect to see him control the majority of the action in what is sure to be a fan-friendly war.
Prediction: Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision
In the main event of the evening, Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz takes on the heavy handed Paul "Semtex" Daley, and this one should be exciting.
I know Diaz loves to stand and trade with his opponents but Daley isn't the guy you want to test your manhood against. Daley throws bricks with bad intentions and is one of the most effective Muay Thai practitioners in MMA today.
That being said, Diaz uses his unorthodox boxing to batter and bruise his opponents and he isn't afraid to test himself where his opponents are at there best.
On the ground, it's a no brainer, Diaz is light years ahead of Daley.
Prediction: Nick Diaz via second-round submission