The crowd at Valley View Casino in San Diego, California begins to trickle in anticipating a night of exceptional fights.
Referee "Big" John McCarthy begins his personal inspection of the cage to ensure safety and security for the fighters.
Employees assist fans and media personnel alike to their seats.
Tonight's fight card includes two world title fights. First, in the lightweight division, current champion and the No. 2 ranked lightweight in the world, Gilbert Melendez will look to retain his championship against Tatsuya Kawajiri.
The main event of the night will consist of two trash talking welterweights who back up all their talk with their fists. The hard-hitting Brit, Paul "Semtex" Daley will be looking to shut the mouth of the arrogant, yet highly skilled current Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nick Diaz.
CASEY RYAN VS. PAUL SONG
Beginning tonight's action will be Paul Song out of Huntington Beach, California versus Casey Ryan, fighting out of El Cajon, California.
With both fighters in the cage, this middleweight division fight is scheduled for three, five minute rounds.
The third member in the Octagon is "Big" John McCarthy.
Quick to engage, Casey Ryan lands a solid front leg kick. Pummeling out of a take-down attempt, Paul Song displays excellent hips and body control to prevent a double-leg take-down.
Following up with strikes of his own, Paul Song secures a take-down. Transitioning into an arm-bar attempt, Casey Ryan is very active off his back.
Beginning to secure a triangle choke, Casey Ryan forces a tap-out victory over Paul Song at 1:39 of round one.
ROLANDO PEREZ VS. EDGAR CARDENAS
Entering the cage out of Escondido, California is the 3-0 Edgar Cardenas. Following in this 140 pound catch-weight fight is the 5-4-1 Rolando Perez out of Chula Vista, California.
The third member of the cage receiving a disheartened disapproval from the crowd is Cecil Peoples.
During the first moments of the fight, it is evident that Rolando Perez is looking to take this fight to the mat. Attempting to secure a take-down, Edgar Cardenas is defending nicely against the cage.
With repeated knees to the body and the inside of the leg, Rolando is now beginning to control the action.
Stepping in to separate the fighters, Cecil Peoples begins the action back in the center of the Octagon.
Landing a solid leg kick, Edgar Cardenas is taken down for his leg attack and Rolando falls into the guard of Cardenas.
Looking to deliver ground and pound, Perez can not separate too inflict any severe damage. Controlling his opponent's posture, Cardenas is working well off of his back.
Getting back to his feet, Edgar Cardenas begins to assert his attack. With his hands down, Cardenas is beginning to swing widely attempting to land a wide punch on Cardenas.
With the first round coming to a close, this back-and-forth affair is difficult to judge.
Catching Cardenas's leg kick once again, Perez takes the fight to the ground where he lands in the mount position on top of Edgar.
Looking for an arm triangle choke, Rolando is attempting to force a tap-out over Edgar.
Rolling out of the trouble, Cardenas scrambles to his feet where the two fighters continue to engage in the stand-up affair. More technically proficient than Cardenas, Perez is looking to counter the wide strikes of his opponent.
With neither fighter gaining an edge, the stand-up striking is thrilling the fans.
Once again catching the leg kick attempt of Perez, Cardenas begins to posture up to throw more damaging strikes in the guard of Rolando.
Round two is coming to a close with a scramble on their feet.
Touching gloves to begin round three, each fighter is attempting to mount their offense. Exchanging on their feet, the fight once again ends up on the mat with Perez in Cardenas's guard.
Looking to pass Edgar's guard, Rolando is beginning to control the fight on the mat. Urged to "work" by Cecil Peoples, the fans are cheering for action.
Controlling the ground action, Cardenas fores a stand up by Peoples.
Looking for the knock-out punch, Edgar Cardenas is beginning to throw desperate punches. Once again locked up by Rolando Perez in the corner of the cage, neither fighter is slowing down.
As the contest comes to a close, Perez once again controls Cardenas inside his guard landing some punishing ground-and-pound.
Rolando Perez victorious via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
HERMAN TERRADO VS. AJ MATTHEWS
This weltwerweight match-up starts with a bang. Both fighters looking to finish the fight early, Herman Terrado is throwing wide punches with bad intentions.
Technically sound, AJ Matthews is working his Muay-Thai with some success landing a variety of hard knee shots.
Coming back strong after each shot, Herman Terrado catches Matthews sending the Carlsbad native reeling to the mat.
Following up with a multitude of hammer fists, Terrado earns a KO victory over Matthews.
An extremely entertaining fight with back-and-forth action, the fans cheer loudly in support of both fighters.
Herman Terrado KO victory at 4:16 of Round 1
SAAD AWAD VS. JOE DUARTE
Entering the cage out of Ranch Cucamonga, California is the 8-3 Saad Awad. Opposite Awad stands the San Diego native, Joe Duarte with a record of 5-2.
The third man inside the Octagon is "Big" John McCarthy.
Touching gloves in the center of the cage, both fighters begin the feeling out process with a variety of jabs and short strikes.
Pummeling against the cage, Duarte is muscling for a take-down attempt. Defending well, Awad achieves a separation and begins to throw a variety of jabs from a variety of angles.
Moving constantly in this lightweight match-up, both competitors are displaying some solid stand-up skills.
Catching Awad with a straight punch, Duarte follows the rattled fighter to the mat landing in the half-guard of Saad.
Defending well off of his back, Awad eats a strong right hand, then pulls guard. Passing to the mount, Joe Duarte has about 30 seconds to finish the fight.
Scrambling back to his feet, Awad looks to land a multitude of kicks, knees and punches. Turning it on at the end of round one, Awad inflicts some damage prior to the bell.
Shaking his hand as if stating that it is broken, Saad Awad is looking feverishly at his right hand in between rounds.
With the tempo slowing slightly, Duarte is finding range with his jab. Countering with a left hook, Saad is just off the mark.
Finding his range, Saad Awad is throwing wildly and landing a variety of punches, knees and body shots.
Eating punch after punch, Joe Duarte stands strong and turns the table, taking the fatigued Saad Awad to the mat.
Passing his guard, Duarte finds himself in the mount position. With repeated strikes landing to the fallen Saad, Joe Duarte rolls to an arm-bar.
Tapping at the 2:49 mark of round two, Joe Duarte is victorious via arm-bar submission.
Joe Duarte arm-bar submission victory at 2:49 of Round 2.
BRETT ALBEE VS. VIRGIL ZWICKER
Undefeated at 3-0, Brett Albee will look to continue his undefeated streak against the 9-2 Virgil Zwicker in this heavyweight match-up.
Landing a few stiff jabs, Zwicker displays some exceptional stand-up skills. Searching for his range, Albee is almost baiting the bigger Zwicker by keeping his hands down and chin high.
Landing a devastating right hand, Virgil Zwicker follows Albee to the cage with an array of vicious elbows, knees and punches. Crumbling to the mat, referee Cecil Peoples saves Albee and declares Zwicker the victor by TKO at 1:46 mark of round one.
Virgil Zwicker victorious at 1:46 of Round 1 via TKO.
HIROYUKI TAKAYA VS. ROBERT PERALTA
The final preliminary fight features Hiroyuki Takaya versus Robert Peralta in a 145 pound match-up.
With an overall MMA record of 13-3, the Escondido, California native, Peralta, will look to continue his winning streak against the 15-8-1 Takaya.
Both fighters feeling each other out. Peralta looking for a leg kick, Takaya catching and driving the taller Peralta into the cage.
Both fighters changing angles and planes and throwing a variety of punches without much success, Peralta is finding a home for his low roundhouse kick, however.
Pummeling into the cage, the fight is a sequence of small battles in the center of the cage without either fighter gaining the advantage.
Landing a solid strike at the end of round one, Takaya regrouped from the punch by Peralta and took the California native to the mat to finish round one.
Continuing the back and forth exchanges that dominated the first round, Takaya attempts a double-leg take-down on Peralta in the corner of the cage.
Defending the take-down attempt nicely, Peralta slides back out into the center of the Octagon. Finally successful with the take-down, Takaya finds himself in the guard of Peralta.
With limited action, the referee returns both fighters to their feet.
Neither fighter imposing his will, the second round comes to a close with both opponents on their feet.
Touching gloves to begin round three, both fighters are pushing the pace.
With neither fighter finding the range, Takaya is successful with another take-down.
Once again, the referee returns both fighters to their feet where the action is fast-paced, but without any significant consequence for the remainder of round three.
A fast-paced, up-tempo clash, this fight goes to the judges' scorecards.
Robert Peralta earns a split-decision victory after three action packed rounds.
MAIN CARD ACTION
SHINYA AOKI VS. LYLE BEERBOHM
Beginning tonight's main card action is the extremely talented grappler, the 26-5 Shinya Aoki versus the 16-1 Lyle Beerbohm.
Winning six of his last seven fights, Aoki, who is known for his wide variety of submissions, will look to lock up a tap-out victory over the always-game Beerbohm.
Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm is a well-balanced fighter with seven knock-out and seven submission victories out of his 17 total fights.
Receiving a loud ovation from the San Diego fans, Shinya Aoki parades to the Octagon eager for his 27th victory.
The third man in the cage is "Big" John McCarthy.
Beerbohm charging in for a take-down, Lyle lands a few tight knees to the inner thigh of Aoki.
Executing a trip take-down, Aoki maneuvers for the rear-naked choke. Digging the submission in deep, Beerbohm is forced to tap at 1:33 mark of round one.
Shinya Aoki victorious at 1:33 of Round 1 via rear-naked choke
GEGARD MOUSASI VS. KEITH JARDINE
Arriving inside the Octagon to a chorus of cheers by the fans, Keith Jardine will have his hands full with the 30-3-1 Gegard Mousasi.
With his customary unorthodox stand-up style,m Jardine throws a series of jabs sending Mousasi back. Relaxed and moving easily, Gegard looks to counter within the first few moments of round one.
Jardine secures a take-down at the 2:30 mark of round one. Mousasi defending with a kimura, he stands back to his feet where Jardine takes the Dutch man back down to the mat.
Escaping any threat on the ground, Mousasi is back to his feet where he begins to pick apart the "Dean of Mean."
In desperation, Jardine once again takes Mousasi to the mat.
Delivering an illegal up-kick to Jardine, Mousasi is deducted a point. That infraction could earn Jardine a 10-8 decision in round one if he is able to escape any severe damage.
Round two begins with an exchange of leg kicks and Mousasi beginning to find his range on Jardine with his punches.
Bleeding from his nose, "The Dean of Mean" is feinting and moving to Mousasi's left looking to avoid the explosive right hand of Gegard.
Ducking under a right hand, Jardine is able to secure another take-down. Smothering Mousasi, Gegard is able to stand back up with the help of the butterfly sweep.
A tightly contested second round, Jardine's successful take-downs may have earned him the second round as well.
The third round finds Mousasi down by two rounds to Jardine. With desperation in the air, Mousasi continues to press the action.
Securing a take-down, Mousasi transitions to the mount. Escaping the threat, Jardine scrambles to a take-down.
Exchanging in the corner, both fighters are swinging wildly.
With two minutes remaining in the third round, Mousasi is throwing everything he has into his strikes.
Diving in for a take-down, Jardine is attempting to scoot his hips out to secure a kimura. Holding on to escape any further damage, Jardine is attempting to survive the remaining seconds of round three.
After three rounds of action, we go to the judges' scorecards. Final decision of a majority draw earns a chorus of displeasure by the fans.
A unanimous draw was the determination by the judges.
STRIKEFORCE LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, GILBERT MELENDEZ VS. TATSUYA KAWAJIRI
The current Strikeforce lightweight champion arrives inside the cage to a chorus of cheers bu the San Diego fans.
The No. 2 lightweight fighter on the planet, Melendez will be attempting to defend his belt against the hard-hitting Japanese fighter.
Beginning this fight like they finished their previous one in Japan, both fighters are exchanging heavy leather in the center of the cage.
Swarming Kawajiri with a flurry of punches,and knees, Melendez is controlling his opponent in every department of the fight-game.
Attempting a take-down, Kawajiri is met with a multitude of vicious punches and elbows. Saving the Japanese star, Cecil Peoples steps in to stop the fight at 3:44 of round one.
Gilbert Melendez victorious via TKO at 3:44 of round one.
STRIKEFORCE WELTWERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: NICK DIAZ VS. PAUL "SEMTEX" DALEY
Entering the cage first is the challenger, Paul "Semtex" Daley. The hard-hitting Brit is looking to exit San Diego with a championship belt around his waist.
Arriving to a huge ovation, the current Strikeforce weltwerweight champion, Nick Diaz, saunters to the cage in his customary approach.
No emotions present, the stoic champion arrives inside the Octagon with a chip on his shoulder against each one of his opponents.
As the lights dim, the fans erupt in cheers for the champion.
27-9-2 with 20 knockouts, Paul Daley is the "British Bomber" who will look to explode on the current champ.
With an overall MMA record of 24-7, Nick Diaz is "MMA's one of a kind," who fights as if his opponent kicked his dog and stole his money.
A glaring staredown between opponents, the trash talk begins prior to the bell.
Sticking his head out baiting the Brit, Diaz begins talking right away.Weathering the early storm, Nick Diaz again regains control in the center of the cage.
Delivering an onslaught of punches, Daley escapes by taking Diaz to the mat. With little effort, the champion returns to his feet where he begins his unorthodox punches on the Brit.
Continuously exchanging back and forth, Diaz catches Daley with a right hook sending the challenger reeling. Following up with a combination of ground punches, "Big" John McCarthy stoops the fight with only three seconds remaining in round three.
Nick Diaz victorious at 4:57 of round one via TKO.