On April 9, 2011, Strikeforce will head to San Diego, California where two belts will be on the line. Welterweight champion Nick Diaz will look to defend his title against Paul Daley, while Gilbert Melendez will take on Tatsuya Kawajiri for the lightweight belt. With another 7 fights on the card, MMA fans should be treated to a great night of fights. The main card will be shown on Showtime at 10 PM ET. The MMA Corner will break down the main card fights for this Saturday:

The main event, as mentioned, will be Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley for the Strikeforce welterweight championship. Diaz won the belt back in January 2010 and has defended his crown twice (KJ Noons and Cyborg Santos). Paul “Semtex” Daley is mainly known for his stint in the UFC, not necessarily for his fighting; he is infamous for his late punch to Josh Koscheck that got him fired from the promotion. Daley has rebounded however, winning 4 straight. In this fight, Diaz will have a huge advantage when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu. If Diaz can win the striking game with Daley early in the fight, then he will have opportunities to take the fight to the ground. Even with that said though, Daley is capable of ending the fight with one punch. He has shown in the past that he can knockout anyone in the sport: just ask Scott Smith, who was put to sleep in just the 1st round in Daley’s last outing.

In the co-main event, lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez will take on Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez won the belt by defeating Josh Thomson in 2009, and then successfully defended it against Shinya Aoki. He will now be put up against another Japanese fighter in Kawajiri. If Melendez just comes in like himself, he should be able to defend his belt once again. The main card also features former UFC contender Keith Jardine taking on Gegard Mousasi and a lightweight bout between Shinya Aoki and Lyle Beerbohm.

Predictions:

Strikeforce Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley- If Diaz can take control of Daley early and avoid the heavy strikes, he can dictate whether or not to use his Jiu-Jitsu to try and submit “Semtex”. But if Daley is able to keep the fight standing, he could easily knockout the champ.

Prediction- Nick Diaz, 3rd round submission

Strikeforce Lightweight Championship: Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri- If Melendez stays focused and does not overlook Kawajiri, he will retain his belt.

Prediction- Gilbert Melendez, unanimous decision

Keith Jardine vs. Gegard Mousasi- Both guys like to stand and bang so should be some fireworks in this one. The age difference could be a factor as Mousasi is 10 years younger than Jardine. Mousasi seems to be the smart pick as Jardine looks to be on the decline of his MMA career.

Prediction- Gegard Mousasi, 2nd round KO

Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm- A win for either guy is big in this fight. Aoki will look make a run in Strikeforce for another opportunity at the belt, while Beerbohm will try and rebound after his loss to Pat Healy. Experience will play a big part in this fight.

Prediction- Shinya Aoki, 1st round submission

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director
Google+

Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.