Strikeforce announced today that welterweight champion and Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt Nick Diaz (23-7, 1 NC) has signed a new multi-year, multi-fight deal with the San Jose, California-based promotion.
Details of deal, including the duration and whether or not the contract is non-exclusive were not released, but with the signing Diaz put to bed rumors that he was angling for a return to the UFC to compete alongside his Team Cesar Gracie teammate Jake Shields when his Strikeforce contract ran out.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my career with Strikeforce,” said the 27-year-old Stockton native. “When I first got here, there weren’t a lot of great 170-pound fighters for me to fight, but that’s definitely changed. There’s a lot of really good fighters in the division now and I’m ready to fight anyone who thinks they can beat me.”
8-0 in his past eight fights, Diaz has only lost one fight in the past two years, which was a result of a stoppage due to a cut he sustained in his first bout with KJ Noons at Elite XC: Renegade in 2007. He was released by the UFC following back-to-back wins over Josh Neer and Gleison Tibau in his last two Octagon appearances.
Diaz won the Strikeforce 170-pound strap in January when he defeated prospect Marius Zaromskis by first round TKO. He has since successfully defended the belt against Noons in their much-anticipated rematch in October that saw Diaz win via unanimous decision. In non-title action this year Diaz also finished Hayato "Mach" Sakurai by first round armbar at DREAM 14 in May.
His first bout on his new contract will see Diaz make his second title defense on January 29 against Chuteboxe fighter Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (18-13) in the main event of the appropriately named Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg event in San Jose.