Nick Diaz vs Paul Daley: Does Victory Make Diaz a Top 5 MMA Welterweight?

Declan MoloneyContributor IApril 4, 2011

Whether you love him or hate him, Stockton native Nick Diaz is one of the most talented MMA fighters going today.

With an ego and large personality to go with his fight skills, Diaz has forged his dominance in Strikeforce's Welterweight division, amassing a nine fight win streak with two title defenses. 

Although Strikeforce's Welterweight Division is no where near as strong as the UFC's, Diaz dominance has put him in the top 10 world welterweight rankings in many publications. Although his win streak is impressive, it does pose the question of the validity in regards to where the certain publications rank him.

However with this upcoming fight, we finally get to truly see where Nick Diaz sits as a top welterweight in the world.

UFC alumni Paul Daley has dominated all that has stood before him since his post fight brain fade at UFC 113. In his most recent fight, Daley needed less than two minutes to destroy the DEEP Welterweight champ Yuya Shirai.

Daley, like Diaz, is considered a top 10 welterweight in the world, and together are the best two welterweight fighters outside of the UFC.

This will, undoubtedly, be Nick Diaz's biggest challenge to date, and a potential opportunity to prove his worth against a quality opponent, something he has lacked in recent outings and one could argue since he was last in the UFC.

If we look back at Diaz' recent fights, it has been a combination of fighters who were past their prime, on losing streaks or met him upon his favorable terms.

Diaz most recently dominated a less than impressive Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, who came into the fight with a 18-13 record. The record doesn't exactly scream a worthy challenge to the Strikeforce title, let alone Nick Diaz.

Prior to that he fought KJ Noons, admittedly a more formidable challenge than Santos, Diaz met Noons in his first foray into the welterweight weight class.

Furthermore, Diaz fought Hayato Sakurai, who came into the fight on a two fight losing streak and has himself admitted he was not mentally prepared for the fight.

In his recent winning streak, Diaz has also fought the fossil that is Frank Shamrock, and Scott Smith, who has struggled to put two wins together and since being released from the UFC has gone five wins with four losses and a no contest.

Be that as it may, to put together a nine fight win streak is an accomplishment. With this upcoming fight against the "Semtex" Paul Daley, we may finally see whether the hype around Nick Diaz is deserving.

Whether he is George St. Pierre or Anderson Silva good, as he claims, one thing is for certain: a Nick Diaz win this Saturday puts him up there with the likes of Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields and Jon Fitch in the top 5 Welterweights of the world.