It didn’t take long for “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” to find a home. Less than 12 hours after swapping out the second leg of their Heavyweight Grand Prix for a pair of championship scraps, company CEO Scott Coker announced their April 9th event will be jumping off inside the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.
Lightweight king Gilbert Melendez will put his crown on the line against Japanese star Tatsuya Kawajiri in the card’s co-featured contest, while welterweight champion Nick Diaz defends his belt against Paul Daley in the night’s main event.
“We are fortunate to replace the April 9th date with a tremendous world championship doubleheader featuring the eagerly awaited showdown between Nick and Paul and the sensational matchup between Gilbert and Tatsuya,” Coker said. “This is a fight everyone has been waiting for and I’d like to thank Dream for allowing Tatsuya to come to the U.S. to take on our lightweight world champion.”
The San Jose, California-based promoted opted to postpone their Heavyweight GP due to the success of “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva.” The tournament will now resume on June 18th inside the spacious American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
“Strikeforce is coming off a record presale and impressive attendance for the kickoff of the Grand Prix at IZOD Center in New Jersey that also drew a record viewership on Showtime for live MMA,” Coker added. “To build on the tremendous momentum from New Jersey we needed the proper time to promote an event of this magnitude, which is why we have decided to continue the Tournament on June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, a venue that has been identified as one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the U.S.
“We have a great relationship with the Texas State Athletic Commission, who, along with the American Airlines Center, is enthused to host the Grand Prix.”
Here are the athletes expected to participate in Strikeforce’s debut in San Diego:
KJ Noons vs. TBD
Shinya Aoki vs. TBD
Gegard Mousasi and Mike Kyle
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce Lightweight Champion)
Paul Daley vs. Nick Diaz (Strikeforce Welterweight Champion)