Strikeforce Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley: A Head-To-Toe Breakdown

Robert GardnerSenior Analyst IApril 3, 2011

Strikeforce Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley: A Head-To-Toe Breakdown

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    On Saturday, April 9, Strikeforce enters the Zuffa era as it is set to invade the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif. with a stellar card.

    Headlining the night is an epic welterweight title showdown between champion Nick Diaz and challenger Paul "Semtex" Daley.

    What makes this fight so intriguing is that this will be the first time the Diaz will be faced with a truly elite opponent since joining Strikeforce in 2009.

    Let's take a look at how these two stellar competitors match up.

    Enjoy! 

Striking

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    Since coming into MMA Nick Diaz has never shied away from a good brawl, but in the last few years he has really developed into one of the better strikers MMA has to offer. His unorthodox, "punches in bunches" style has been a key component to his current nine-fight win streak.

    With all that said though, Paul Daley is a bomber with some of the best Muay Thai in MMA. Add to that his vicious KO power, and Daley is a force to be reckoned with on the feet.

    Advantage: Paul Daley 

Wrestling

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    I know, I know...neither of the fighters pictured in this slide are Diaz or Daley, and with good reason; both have questionable wrestling ability at best.

    Diaz does train with some solid wrestlers in Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields, so you would think he might have a slight advantage, but the Brits and their wrestling have really been coming around.

    Advantage: Even

Submissions

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    Five of Daley's nine career loses have come by way of submission, and Diaz is a Cesar Gracie black belt.

    Should this fight hit the ground, Daley will be in real trouble because Diaz is one of the most dangerous BJJ players in MMA today. He may not have the accolades of BJ Penn, Jacare Souza and Demain Maia, but rest assured, he is just as dangerous.

    Advantage: Nick Diaz

Conditioning

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    Daley has gone the distance 10 times in his MMA career, one more than Diaz, so he knows what to expect and how to train to compete in the deep waters of an MMA fight, but he has an insane method for staying in shape year round; he competes in triathlons.

    For those of you who do not know what that is, I will explain. At minimum (depending on what set of rules the competition is held under) the competition begins with a 750-meter swim, then the competitors move on to a 20-kilometer bike ride and then finish off with a 10-kilometer run.

    Sounds like a good time to me...NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Advantage: Nick Diaz 

Strength

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    Diaz has underrated power as that lanky build of him makes him wiry, but Daley is explosive. When he makes contact people go to sleep, plain and simple.

    Daley's ability to knock out an opponent with a single strike is well known and feared throughout the MMA community.

    Advantage: Paul Daley 

Speed

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    I will admit that Diaz has some pretty solid hand speed and I think he is pretty fast when to comes to transitioning for a submission on the ground, but Daley is just a better natural athlete.

    Daley may not have the hand speed of a Vitor Belfort of Jose Aldo, but he deffinetly has speed in those hands of his.

    Advantage: Paul Daley

Toughness

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    Both Diaz and Daley are two of the toughest MMA fighters walking the planet, but I have seen Diaz take some serious punishment over the course of his career and no matter what happens, it seems like he does not know the meaning of the word quit.

    Daley is tough in his own right, but Diaz is what I like to call "stupid tough", and his ridiculous will to push forward no matter what the case may be sets him apart from just about every other fighter in MMA today.

    Advantage: Nick Diaz

Prediction

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    Just for the record, I absolutely love this matchup and I am so very excited to see just how far Diaz has come against a fighter since his time in the UFC.

    In my opinion, Diaz is one of the most underrated fighters in MMA, and this is partly because he has not exactly been taking on the best the world has to offer the past couple years. Daley is a tremendous talent and he throws everything with bad intentions.

    I know Diaz likes to test his mettle against where his opponents feel like they are their best, but Daley is not to be taken lightly, and if Diaz gets too cocky, Daley will put him to sleep.

    The reach is a push, but with Diaz's four-inch height advantage, he will be able to dictate the distance and frustrate Daley on the feet for awhile. After that, he needs to find a way to get this fight to the ground, where he will be able to exploit Daley's biggest weakness.

    Prediction: Nick Diaz via 2nd round submission