Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Set For April 9

Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez

Nick Diaz (left) Gilbert Melendez (right)

Two title fights will be featured on the Strikeforce April 9 event in San Diego.

Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and lightweight titleholder Gilbert Melendez will defend their titles on April 9 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif. against Paul Daley and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Strikeforce announced the match ups on Tuesday as well as the postponement of the Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament until June 18 at the 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,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.  “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,” added Coker.

“We are fortunate to replace the April 9 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.”

Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle will also be on the April 9 card.

Daley is coming off a knockout win over DEEP champion Yuya Shirai at BAMMA 5 in Manchester, England over the weekend.

Diaz has successfully defended his title twice and submitted Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in his last outing.

Melendez last competed in April 2010 where he dominated DREAM champion Shinya Aoki over the course of five rounds.

Mousasi won the DREAM light heavyweight title in September, but is coming off a loss to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in Strikeforce.

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