Strikeforce Diaz vs. Daley Results: The Real Winners and Losers
Showtime's stacked fight card featuring two championship fights is in the books with some big results for the winners.
In the main event, champion Nick Diaz took on powerful slugger Paul Daley for the Strikeforce welterweight championship.
In the co-main event, Strikeforce lightweight champion and top 10 lightweight fighter Gilbert Melendez defended his title against Japanese fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Other fighters featured on tonight's card were Gegard Mousasi, Keith Jardine, Shinya Aoki and Lyle Beerbohm.
Winner: Keith Jardine
With nine days notice, UFC veteran Keith Jardine (17-9-2) took on the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi (30-3-2).
Bloody and bruised, Jardine pushed through three tough rounds of action but was not able to earn a much-needed win.
At the end of the fight, the bout was scored a majority draw, which is better for Jardine than most people thought.
Many were calling for the younger and faster Mousasi to take out the "Dean of Mean" early in the fight.
With his wrestling and takedowns, Jardine took the Armenian-Dutch fighter down in the first round. Mousasi was deducted a point in the first round for an illegal strike.
Jardine deserves more credit than he gets. For taking on the best fighters in the division, Jardine really has one of the best resumes in the business.
Loser: Gegard Mousasi
Whether Gegard Mousasi (30-3-2) should have been the real "winner" in his bout with Keith Jardine, he didn't impress many fans with his performance. The bout was scored 29-27 Mousasi, 28-28 and 28-28 resulting in a majority draw.
Mousasi's takedown defense, which he claimed to have been working on, was exposed once again in this bout as was the case in his first title defense last year against Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal.
The former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion has a extensive record for being only 25, but he will need to improve his overall MMA skills if he wants to fight the best in the UFC.
Winner: Shinya Aoki
Japanese submission grappler Shinya Aoki keeps his place in the top 10 lightweight fighters after submitting Lyle Beerbohm in the first round via neck crank.
It is Aoki's fourth win in a row since losing a five-round decision to Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight championship.
Beerbohm only had been defeated once, in his last fight, and was not able to keep the standout submission artist from getting him down.
It wasn't long before Aoki had him tapping out 1:33 into round one.
Winner: Gilbert Melendez
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (19-2) picked up the 11th knockout victory of his career after finishing Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-7-2) in the first round of their title fight.
Utilizing his powerful punches and vicious elbow strikes, Melendez was able to rock the Japanese fighter early and finish him 3:14 into Round 1.
Strikeforce fights, especially the championship fights, are going to be getting a lot more attention now that Zuffa owns the organization alongside the UFC.
Melendez, a top 10 lightweight, should be considered to be one of the best lightweight fighters in the world.
Winner: Nick Diaz
Even if Nick Diaz (25-7) doesn't ever make it back into the UFC, he will always get attention when he fights. His fight with Paul Daley (27-7-2) was a perfect example of why.
In a round that easily was the best of the year so far, both fighters exchanged power shot after power shot and went down in the process.
The only difference is the one got back up, the other didn't. Diaz earned the TKO victory with three seconds left in the first round.
Diaz taunted the British fighter early in the round and didn't back down from exchanging with the dangerous striker. Diaz is the type of fighter who fans love. He isn't afraid to fight his opponents where they are at their strongest.
With the victory, Diaz retains the Strikeforce welterweight championship; his third defense.
Loser: Paul Daley
Besides losing the fight, Paul Daley (27-10-2) lost his chance of ever making it back into the biggest organization in the world.
After being kicked out of the UFC for throwing a punch after the bell vs. Josh Koscheck at UFC 113, Daley found work elsewhere and picked up four victories, including a knockout over Scott Smith.
His ticket back to the UFC may have been foreseeable had it not been for his pre-fight comments after Zuffa purchased Strikeforce.
Daley responded to Dana White, Scott Coker and the UFC promotion and why he wasn't interested in fighting for them.
He still makes for exciting fights, but they won't come inside the Octagon.
Winner: Dana White, Zuffa and the UFC
After Zuffa purchased Strikeforce in March, many fans were surprised at how fast the deal had come to fruition. Without having time to adjust to make changes, Strikeforce put on their first show post-buyout at Strikeforce Challengers on April 1.
Diaz vs. Daley was the first major Strikeforce show promoted by the UFC, and it was a good one to start off with. From top to bottom, the card had entertaining fights and finishes with intriguing personalities and top-tier fighters putting their belts on the line.
Every Strikeforce event will start to change as the UFC and Zuffa make the proper adjustments, but the fights won't, and that is a good thing for fans and the companies alike.
Winner: Last but Not Least, the Fans
The fans are the winners almost every time there is a MMA event, so this probably doesn't need to be mentioned.
Strikeforce deserves credit, though, for putting on entertaining shows one after the other. It seems every Strikeforce event is filled with knockouts, submission and memorable fights.
Now that everyone is working together, the fans can start to enjoy the fights more without having to imagine what it would be like if the Strikeforce fighters fought the UFC fighters.
It won't be long before we find out.