Nick Diaz officially announces launch of WAR MMA promotion for June 22

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The rumored mixed martial arts promotion fronted by UFC headliner Nick Diaz will be officially launched on June 22.

On that night, WAR MMA will emanate from the Stockton Arena, according to venue management powerhouse SMG, which released the information to the media on Wednesday.

For now, WAR MMA announced six bouts, including the main event, which will feature former UFC welterweight and Team Cesar Gracie fighter Daniel Roberts taking on Justin Baesman.

Roberts went 4-4 in an eight-fight UFC tenure, getting released in Jan. 2012, after a three-fight losing streak. Since then, he's won two straight, raising his career mark to 14-4.

Like Roberts, Baesman is a Bay area fighter who has compiled a 12-4 record. He's fought for several regional promotions including Gladiator Challenge and West Coast Fighting Championship.

The other announced fights include WEC veteran Antonio Banuelos facing Benny Vinson, Caleb Mitchell vs. Evan Esguerra, Roy Boughton vs. Liron Wilson, Mike Persons vs. Clayton McKinney and Darin Cooley vs. Cody Gibson.

According to the press release, WAR MMA bouts will be fought under the Unified Rules but use a ring instead of a cage. The promotion will also ban elbows. The press release did not offer any viewing options for fans outside of the Stockton area, but said further information will be available in the near future.

Diaz (26-9, 1 no contest) last fought in March, when he lost a unanimous decision to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158. Afterward, he said he would retire unless he was given a rematch or a superfight. To date, neither has surfaced. This past week, as news of Diaz's promotion emerged, UFC president Dana White gave Diaz his blessing in his signature style, saying, "Good for him. Welcome to the losing-money business."

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