clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nick Diaz Submits Evangelista Cyborg Santos in a Strikeforce Brawl

<! mediaid=3831001 Jeff Chiu, AP: img hspace="4" border="1" align="right" vspace="4" alt="" src="" />Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz got a tougher challenge than expected from Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos Saturday night in San Jose, but after brawling for nearly 10 minutes, Diaz submitted Cyborg with a textbook arm bar with just seconds remaining in the second round.

Diaz improved his record to 24-7, and he's now on a nine-fight winning streak. Diaz isn't the best welterweight in the world (that honor belongs to Georges St. Pierre), but he's unquestionably the best welterweight outside the UFC.

"I respect the way he fights," Diaz said of Cyborg. "He don't play around. He came out here and fought me."

The first round was sensational: Cyborg had a game plan to attack Diaz's lead leg, and he did that effectively, kicking Diaz in the right knee several times within the first minute of the fight. Cyborg also landed some hard punches to Diaz's head, and Diaz appeared to be in real trouble. But as the round wore on it was Diaz who went on the attack, rocking Cyborg with hard punches of his own and then landing at volume while Cyborg had no answer. It was a thrilling first round, five minutes of non-stop brawling.

Cyborg went back to the leg kicks at the start of the second round, and he also mixed in some hard punches to Diaz's body. But again, as the round wore on Cyborg began to look tired, while Diaz (whose cardio is legendary) looked fresh and relaxed as the round went on. With about 30 seconds to go, Cyborg made a huge tactical error: He went for a spinning back kick and then a takedown, landing on top of Diaz on the ground. Diaz then took the opportunity to show off his great ground game, putting Cyborg in a beautiful arm bar and forcing the submission.

The loss dropped Cyborg's career record to 18-14, but it bolstered his reputation as a great brawler if not necessarily a great fighter. Cyborg always brings it, and he brought out the best in Diaz.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting