Nick Diaz Faces Hayato Sakurai at Dream.15, Won’t Defend Strikeforce Title

Written by Tom Ngo
April 7th, 2010

It is being reported that Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz will be facing Hayato Sakurai in a non-title affair at Dream.15 inside the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Diaz’s longtime coach, Cesar Gracie, posted the news on his official website Wednesday afternoon.

According the the grappling legend, the May 30th show will be a co-promoted event between Strikeforce and Dream.

The Japanese-based organization is renting out the services of their lightweight champ Shinya Aoki for “Strikeforce: Nashville” on April 17th, so it was only fitting the Americans returned the favor.

However, the San Jose, California-based company will be coming through in a big way for their far east partners as the card’s eight-man light heavyweight tournament is expected to feature several Strikeforce employees, including light heavyweight king Gegard Mousasi.

Sakurai is a true legend of the sport, as evidenced by his dominant 35-10-2 resume. However, the Japanese star’s best days are clearly behind him after dropping his last two contests in devastating fashion.

Diaz holds an impressive 21-7 professional record and is currently enjoying a seven-fight winning streak. The 26-year-old’s last scrap was his most impressive, as he unleashed a striking clinic on Marius Zaromskis at “Strikeforce: Miami” to capture the crown.

It is believed a Diaz/Zaromskis rematch was under consideration for Dream’s welterweight strap, however it appears they opted to host a contest that would be more fan friendly.

“Good. I’ve been trying to fight this guy for a long time now,” Daiz stated.

Dream.15 is is expected to air live in North America on HDNet.

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