Officials from EliteXC have forced top lightweight contender Nick Diaz to withdraw from his DREAM.5 welterweight title fight with Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. The title bout was scheduled to take place July 21st, however EliteXC will be holding their second CBS event on July 26th, so it is highly likely that they intend to have Diaz headline the card, which is rumored to be held in his hometown of Stockton, California.
Diaz has trained under Brazilian Jui Jitsu great Cesar Gracie for many years, and Diaz’ withdrawl from Dream.5 was confirmed on Gracie’s website, Graciefighter.com.
Diaz’ likely opponent will be current EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons, who initially defeated Diaz last November in a 1stRound TKO due to a cut. The upset has really gotten under Diaz’ skin, so much so that he initiated a scuffle with Noons in the cage after Noons’ victorious title defense against Eves Edwards just last week at EliteXC “Return of the King”.
Diaz entered the ring during Noons’ post fight interview and demanded a rematch, stating, “Don’t be scared, homie,” and proceeded to aggressively stick both of his middle fingers in Noons’ face. At the same time Nick’s younger brother and UFC fighter, Nate, threw a water bottle in Noons’ direction. And that is when the melee ensued.
It has already been announced that EliteXC’s second CBS promotion will also feature the Middleweight title rematch between Champion Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith. Smith was poked in the eye in their first bout last month on EliteXC Primetime and the bout was ruled a No Contest.
Hoping that he will get to avenge his loss to Noons, Diaz hasn’t ruled another title fight with Sakurai somewhere down the line.
“I was happy to be fighting Sakurai and hoping to get back there to Japan where they have you fight in a ring and there seems to be more respect for the art of MMA,” he stated on GracieFighter.com. “I hope they will still have me back soon to fight him (Sakurai) for the belt.”