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Dream.14 Aftermath: Diaz Subs Sakurai, Sakuraba Continues the Aging Process


(Diaz vs. Sakurai. The actual fighting begins about the 3:15 mark. VidProps: YouTube.)

His claims of being the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world are a bit of a stretch, but Nick Diaz did what everyone expected him to do last night at Dream.14, handling Hayato “Mach” Sakurai en route to a first-round submission win. The biggest surprise of the fight was Sakurai’s striking, as he came out throwing enough heavy leather to make the Strikeforce welterweight champ decide he didn’t want none on the feet in the early going.

Aside from a couple of stand-up exchanges however,  Diaz smothered Sakurai on the ground, eventually securing an arm bar three minutes, 54 seconds into the first round. For Sakurai, who said earlier this week he wanted to retire as soon as he became an “ordinary” fighter, that time may be now.

Complete Dream.14 results after the jump.


Sakurai looked decent, if a bit wild, on his feet. His best punch of the night was a winging overhand right with 2:48 remaining in the round that seemed to bother Diaz a bit. But with Dream employing the white, European-style rope-cage for this event, Sakurai made the ill-advised decision of shooting for a takedown. He secured it, but a few moments later Diaz locked in the arm bar from the bottom against the cage.

The organization’s prefight hype vignette for Diaz played-up the Stockton malcontent’s bad boy image, using footage of April’s Strikeforce brawl because, you know, the Japanese are into that kind of stuff. After the fight, however, Diaz was the picture of respectability, getting on the mic to thank the Japanese fans because, you know, they like that stuff too.

In other action, Kazushi Sakuraba continued his quest to die in the ring, dropping a decision to Ralek Gracie. It was Sakuraba’s third loss in his last five fights and just Gracie’s third professional win.

Hiroyuki Takaya surprised Joachim Hansen with a series of right hands that left the Norwegian fighter out cold in the first round. It was Hansen’s third consecutive loss.

Kid Yamamoto got back in the win column by knocking out Fredrico Lopez, also in the first, while Ikuhisa Minowa won yet another freak-show bout, choking out 330-pound Imani Lee 45 seconds before the end of the opening stanza.

Complete Dream.14 results:
Nick Diaz def. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai by first-round armbar submission
Ralek Gracie def. Kazushi Sakuraba by unanimous decision
Hiroyuki Takaya def. Joachim Hansen by first-round KO
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto def. Federico Lopez by first-round KO
Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura def. Hideo Tokoro by first-round TKO
Kazuyuki Miyata def. Takafumi Otsuka by split decision
Kenji Osawa def. Yoshiro Maeda by split decision
Ikuhisa Minowa def. Imani Lee by first-round choke submission

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dranokills- May 29, 2010 at 9:59 pm
sp00ki kabuki Says:
Sat, 05/29/2010 - 22:32

More than half the ww's in the ufc? i would like a list of these ppl. diaz would beat hardy, alves, fitch, kos, swick, kampman, condit, and semtex (if he were still in the ufc). gsp would probly beat diaz via lay and pray, cause we all know that he isnt tryin to finish fights these days.
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Hardy would destroy Diaz
Alves would kill diaz
Kos would lie, and still beat Diaz
Swick would cut Diaz a new forehead.
The others ...hmmm who knows probably both of the last 2 would
get a decision on him.
Semtex is a bigger punk than Diaz...so I guess Diaz wins that.
Fuck man seriously I dont Diaz being anything more than he ever was, middle of the pack not even PPV worthy. It is what it is you Diaz fans, you can't make a UFC purse out of a strikeforces sows ear.
frndlylion- May 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm
I'm usually a Diaz hater but, I gotta give Nick props for the respect he showed Sakurai. This is how fighters should act after a fight. All that BS before a fight really doesnt mean squat as far as I m concerned.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm
Rex, you lucky bastard, with all your fancy-pants TV channels. I had HDNet once... long long ago... sigh... sniffle...
Mr_Misanthropy- May 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm
Nick Diaz doesn't give a shit if you like him or hate him, he trains to fight and he fights and wins. Everything else is extraneous bullshit. If he continues his winning ways, he will continue to move forward. He's obviously not a guy that's dying for mainstream acceptance or celebrity, I believe he lets his work speak for itself.
ReX13- May 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm
Hansen got KO'd, and i was all, WTF? Hellboy took heaters from Alvarez at 155, but he naps last night??

Kid Yamamoto looked good. Yes, he was supposed to win that fight, but he looked focussed and ready, and he outclassed his opponent. Hope to see him make some noise at 145.

And what in the holy hell was going on with the ref during Gracie-Sakuraba?? Still love Saku, but damn....

Good stuff at D14, and D15 is shaping up to be hot as well.

And still UFC to go tonight? Yeah, this is a good damn weekend.
2DaDeath- May 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm
LOL @ your last 2 sentences (as us kids say).
nicey- May 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm
if someones argument is nick would give gps his toughest test out of the ufc welterweights, i wont argue that. but if anyone says nick has a shot in hell at even coming close to beating gsp, you're smoking better weed than the diaz bros. regardless of *how* gsp does it.
dogpt3- May 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm
He knows not to fuck around in foreign countries and act a fool. Its called respect for the culture. Nick interviews terribly, hes not as dumb as he comes across.
LJM- May 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm
2DaDeath, that first paragraph made me, as the kids these days say, LOL.

But you're absolutely right you won't see him gracious in defeat because he hasn't yet achieved his goal, which is to beat his opponent. So, until his opponent is defeated, he must convince himself that his opponent is, basically, "a bitch." He believes this conviction is necessary for him to win in a combat sport.

Now, I'm not saying that this is right or even healthy. Plenty of great fighters show respect to their opponents before, during, and after a fight. But I feel very strongly that he is never, ever acting. If he was inclined to put on a show of some sort, I think he'd prepare for interviews instead of coming off like he does (and we know how he comes off in interviews).

Definitely not defending his frequently negative attitudes and behavior, but I really don't think there's anything phony about him, which makes his post victory behavior fascinating to me. My kid takes classes at Cesar Gracie's gym, so I see Nick and his brother working and hanging out pretty often. I'd really like to ask him about his approach to fights and competition, but I think he'd just look at me funny and say, "Dude, that's fuckin' stupid." And then Nate would hit me. And kick me.
2DaDeath- May 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm
@ LJM:

I have a theory that your theory is biased towards a love of bad boys. You might think you're the one to change him, but he's just gonna break your heart.

The only acting i see is the one he pulls after his victories. You'll never see him as gracious in defeat, i guarantee (money back).
In all his interviews he makes it pretty clear that he does not consider MMA a sport. He doesn't believe in having class in a fight like it's a tennis match cuz the other fighter is out there trying to "kill you up" in front of the world.

So my question is: What's with him trying to show class after a victory? For someone who tries to keep it real, that seems real phony. He should be throwin up Aoki Hey Buddy's after each fight instead, imo.
sp00ki kabuki- May 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm
More than half the ww's in the ufc? i would like a list of these ppl. diaz would beat hardy, alves, fitch, kos, swick, kampman, condit, and semtex (if he were still in the ufc). gsp would probly beat diaz via lay and pray, cause we all know that he isnt tryin to finish fights these days.
dranokills- May 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm
sp00ki kabuki Says:
Sat, 05/29/2010 - 19:11

did you even see thoes fights draino? or did you just look at the records? diaz got screwed in most of thoes fights. the only one he lost was against sanchez, and it was close. he has learned his lesson since then and doesnt let it go to decision any more. diaz would beat ANY of the top ww's and would give gsp the toughest challenge he's had yet
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yep saw everyone of those fights, and regardless of how good he is now he would still lose to more than half the guys in his weight division in the UFC. I am just not as impressed by his performance over way lesser fighters. GSP would destroy Diaz.
LJM- May 29, 2010 at 11:42 am
2DaDeath, I think the reason he is how he is before the fight is that he feels it's a mental advantage to believe with all of his heart that the person in the cage with him has no business being there and doesn't deserve any respect at all. After the fight (and he wins), there's no reason for that attitude, so he drops it and becomes who he really is (a decent, if simple, fella that loves sports and respects good fighters). That's my working theory for now, anyway.
Elentius- May 29, 2010 at 11:18 am
Yeah Nick Diaz really is the best... in Japan. We can make the real decisions after he fights top competition.
2DaDeath- May 29, 2010 at 10:30 am
I have a hard time with how gracious Nick is in victory. It's just so contradictory to how he acts before his fights.

Let's keep it real Nick! Don't pull the nice guy card after all your asshole-ish pre-fight antics.
BigCountrysCholesterol- May 29, 2010 at 9:51 am
Diaz has really turned it up. He is the real deal now, anyone who says otherwise is uninformed or biased. But damn it sucks for Japanese MMA. Gomi, Aoki and Sakurai all lose to the same gaijin. A gaijin who openly embraces those evil marijuana cigarettes we've all heard so much about.
Iron Fist- May 29, 2010 at 9:39 am
You are dead on Kabuki. Nick has only been stopped once in his whole career and that was back in '02 when he was 19. Not only is he one of the best fighters in the game he is a kid that comes to brawl every fight. No lay and prey, no clock killing against the cage, he goes out to dominate his opponents and is happy to get bloodied up in the process. I think we'll see him back in the UFC in about a year.
k-onda- May 29, 2010 at 9:31 am
What gets to me is the talk about Nick Diaz being the toughest competition for GSP, it pains me to hear cause I think it's correct, he would make it interesting. Oh well, did you see how gracious and respectful Diaz was post fight above? What a charming young man.
sp00ki kabuki- May 29, 2010 at 9:11 am
did you even see thoes fights draino? or did you just look at the records? diaz got screwed in most of thoes fights. the only one he lost was against sanchez, and it was close. he has learned his lesson since then and doesnt let it go to decision any more. diaz would beat ANY of the top ww's and would give gsp the toughest challenge he's had yet
sp00ki kabuki- May 29, 2010 at 9:06 am
i would love to see nick diaz and his camp as a coach on tuf oppisite gsp and his coaches.... pure awesomeness
mmavideonews.blogspot.com- May 29, 2010 at 9:01 am
At least he got a fight in before he gets suspended
dranokills- May 29, 2010 at 9:00 am
Guys Nick Use to fight in the UFC remember? he was a middle of the road curtain puller in the UFC, and they wouldn't let him smoke dope, he just gets fired from a real MMA company.
The only way Diaz can ever get any fame is be the man in level B fight clubs.
MediumRare- May 29, 2010 at 8:38 am
Dammit Dana, stop fucking around and sign Nick Diaz.
tj.labs- May 29, 2010 at 8:00 am
Im surprised by the Hellboy result...
rlh61- May 29, 2010 at 7:58 am
Yup, like I said before, I may not like them, but the Diaz Bros always show up to scrap.
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