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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Diaz vs Sakurai DREAM 14

Not for the Strikeforce title, they say, of course:

Fresh off a successful bid for the Strikeforce welterweight title, Nick Diaz (21-7 MMA, 1-0 DREAM) is set to face Japanese veteran Hayato Sakurai (35-10-2 MMA, 3-1 DREAM) at DREAM. 15.

Graciefighter.com, the online home of trainer Cesar Gracie, first reported the non-title fight. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed the matchup with a source close to the event who said Strikeforce officials have cleared the booking.

DREAM.15 is expected to take place May 30 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event is expected to air in North America on HDNet.

The upcoming event also features the first round of an eight-man light-heavyweight tournament that's expected to feature several prominent Strikeforce fighters, including light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. Strikeforce and DREAM formed an alliance in 2009 and now share talent.

In his most recent performance, Diaz dominated 2009 DREAM welterweight grand prix champion Marius Zaromskis at "Strikeforce: Miami" in January and afterward was awarded the promotion's first-ever 170-pound belt.

The 26-year-old Diaz is currently riding a six-fight win streak since a loss to K.J. Noons in November 2007 for the EliteXC lightweight belt. With the DREAM booking, he's now unlikely to make his first Strikeforce title defense until later this year.

Sakurai, meanwhile, is on a two-fight slide with a submission loss to UFC veteran Akihiro Gono in his most recent performance at "Dynamite!! 2009." Prior to the New Year's Eve showing, he faced Zaromskis at the 2009 DREAM welterweight grand-prix semifinal round and was a victim of a devastating head kick knockout.

However, the 34-year-old Sakurai has shown flashes of brilliance in his later career. At DREAM.8 this past April, he pulled off an upset victory when he knocked out the top-ranked Shinya Aoki with knees and punches in just 27 seconds.

It's not known if Diaz vs. Sakurai will headline the fight card.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 04:05 PM
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Diaz via TKO late round 1 or early round 2.

<3 Diaz.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 04:17 PM
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I think Nick will take it. Sakurai is a warrior, but he won't be able to handle the barrage of fists flying at him. Diaz has developed into a top fighter of his division and he's a bad matchup for anyone with that unique style of his. If it stays on the feet his boxing will keep Sakurai away from him and if it goes to the ground he's got Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu. I wonder if they're planning on giving Nick a shot at the DREAM WW belt anytime soon? He has a good case...

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:24 PM
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Mach is so shot this fight is ridiculous at this point.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 08:16 PM
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Nice this should be fun even though Zaromskis beat Sakurai.

Whatever it's always good to see Strikeforce guys fighting in Dream and returning the favour.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mirage445 View Post
Diaz via TKO late round 1 or early round 2.

<3 Diaz.
Nick Diaz has looked amazing of late, I have him winning this fight by tko although you can never count out Mach, but I think Diaz is just a bit too skilled in all areas at the moment.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 02:48 AM

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Another notch in Nicks belt...

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 05:35 AM
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Mach via hammer of justice. Nick needs to get this fight to the ground he doesn't have the striking skills to stand with Sakurai.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 07:19 AM
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yes but also have the skills but have to work hard
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