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Premium Member
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21,505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Fruits & Vegetables
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2,580 Posts
Diaz via TKO late round 1 or early round 2.

<3 Diaz.
 

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Premium Member
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9,589 Posts
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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Registered
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1,548 Posts
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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-NOW YOU SLEEP-
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10,940 Posts
Another notch in Nicks belt...
 

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Super Ultra Great Delicious Wonderful
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6,517 Posts
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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