Strikeforce MMA: Nick Diaz Dominates Frank Shamrock

In a triumph of youth over experience, Nick Diaz whipped Frank Shamrock Saturday night in the main event of the Strikeforce MMA show in San Jose.

The 25-year-old Diaz controlled the fight throughout, using his superior reach to land punches and his superior Brazilian jiu jitsu technique to dominate the 36-year-old Shamrock on the ground. Shamrock was clearly hurt for much of the second round, and once Diaz got Shamrock on the ground and repeatedly landed strikes, referee Big John McCarthy stopped the fight to protect Shamrock.

"The key was just getting out here, feeling good," Diaz said afterward. "I've been watching Frank Shamrock fight since the beginning."

Despite a great deal of trash talk between the two of them leading up to the fight, they embraced in the cage afterward, and Shamrock said, "I give everything to Nick Diaz. ... Nick kicked my ass tonight. There's no two ways about it. He beat me."

The Diaz-Shamrock match was the final of 10 fights at the HP Pavilion in the first card of the year for the Strikeforce MMA promotion. In terms of pure excitement, the best fight of the night was the middleweight battle between Scott Smith and Benji Radach, a fight that Radach appeared to be dominating most of the way, only to have Smith suddenly level Radach with a brutal third-round knockout punch.

"There were about three times I thought the fight was over," Smith said, before adding of the knockout punch: "I didn't know what I was doing. I just pulled it out of my butt."

Strikeforce Photos

    Frank Shamrock, center, is helped by his corner after losing to Nick Diaz in a Strikeforce mixed martial arts fight on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif. Diaz won by knockout in the second round.

    Jeff Chiu, AP

    Nick Diaz makes his way to the cage at the Strikeforce show on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    Frank Shamrock punches Nick Diaz during their match at the Strikeforce show on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    Nick Diaz grapples with Frank Shamrock during their match at the Strikeforce show on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    Nick Diaz, right, kicks Frank Shamrock in a Strikeforce mixed martial arts fight on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif. Diaz won by knockout in the second round.

    Jeff Chiu, AP

    Nick Diaz, top, punches Frank Shamrock during a Strikeforce mixed martial arts fight on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif. Diaz won by knockout in the second round.

    Jeff Chiu, AP

    Nick Diaz punches Frank Shamrock during their match in the Strikeforce show on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    Nick Diaz, top, punches Frank Shamrock in a Strikeforce mixed martial arts event on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif. Diaz won by knockout in the second round.

    Jeff Chiu, AP

    Nick Diaz punches Frank Shamrock during their match at the Strikeforce show on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    Actor Mickey Rourke holds up his phone before Nick Diaz faced Frank Shamrock in a Strikeforce mixed martial arts event on Saturday, April 11, 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

    Jeff Chiu, AP



The huge heavyweight Brett Rogers also scored a very impressive knockout victory, beating the previously undefeated (and untested) Ron "Abongo" Humphrey by second-round TKO. The fight was notable for Rogers getting a point deducted in the first round for hair pulling; Rogers said after the fight that he hadn't meant to pull Humphrey's hair, but that his gloves were getting caught in Humphrey's dreadlocks.

In the night's only women's fight, Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos used her huge size advantage (she showed up seven pounds overweight at Friday's weigh-in) to manhandle (womanhandle?) her opponent, Hitomi Akano. Cyborg won a one-sided third-round TKO, but how impressed can we be with a fighter who beats a smaller opponent?

Aside from Cyborg failing to make weight, the biggest disappointment of the Strikeforce show was the interim lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Rodrigo Damm. Strikeforce's real lightweight champion, Josh Thomson, was supposed to fight Melendez but had to pull out with an injury. Damm was the best replacement Strikeforce could find on short notice, but he's nowhere near good enough to be in a title fight, and Strikeforce shouldn't have pretended that he was. Melendez beat him by second-round TKO.

For full results, click here. I've also been tweeting about Strikeforce if you want to follow me on Twitter.

Baby Boom in Sports

    Frank Shamrock took a break from training recently to spend time with his daughter Nicolette. Click through to see photos of sports stars with their children.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    Tiger Woods poses with daughter Sam, wife Elin and new son, Charlie.

    Dom Furore, Woods Family

    Tiger Woods kisses his son, Charlie Axel.

    Dom Furore, Woods Family

    Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and daughter Harlyn Quinn meet with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Michelle Obama

    Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

    NBA star Kobe Bryant with his wife Vanessa and daughters Natalie and Gianna

    Andrew D. Bernstein, NBAE via Getty Images

    Softball superstar Jennie Finch with her son Ace

    Christian Petersen, Getty Images

    Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward with his son Jaden

    Jonathan Ferrey, Getty Images

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart with his son Cole Cameron

    Victor Decolongon, Getty Images

    Baseball star Alex Rodriguez with his ex-wife Cynthia and daughters Natasha and Ella

    Chris Gordon, WireImage/Getty Images

    NBA star Brandon Roy and his son Brandon

    Sam Forencich, NBAE via Getty Images

Click through to see photos of sports stars with their children.

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