According to GracieFighter.com, Nick Diaz will no longer be fighting Hayato “Mach” Sakurai at DREAM.5 (July 21st; Osaka, Japan) for the league’s vacant welterweight title, due to contractual obligations with EliteXC: “Apparently EliteXC has other plans for Diaz and the July date might conflict with their plans.” You could probably figure out what those plans are, but for the record, sources have informed FiveOuncesofPain that a rematch between Diaz and K.J. Noons for EliteXC’s 160-pound title will be added to the next “Saturday Night Fights” broadcast on July 26th.
Though the event was initially rumored to be held in St. Louis, it looks like that idea is being scrapped, as several major sporting events (including a monster truck rally; go figure) are already scheduled to take place in the Gateway City around that time. Now, the buzz is that the Diaz/Noons bout will take place somewhere in Stockton, California, the city that spawned those rotten Diaz brothers. Obviously, it’s a wise move from a marketing standpoint — just as EliteXC’s “Street Certified” event featuring Kimbo Slice was a hit in Kimbo’s hometown of Miami, and “Shamrock vs. Le” did bang-up business in San Jose, Nick Diaz’s rabid civic pride could translate into a wild sellout crowd in Stockton, which would be a perfect backdrop to a live television event (providing that there are no riots in the arena, of course).
At this point, EliteXC: Unfinished Business (working title) will still be headlined by the middleweight championship rematch between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith, as well as Jake Shields vs. TBA for the vacant welterweight belt.