With the Nick Diaz/Frank Shamrock Strikeforce bout just a few days away, now seems like as good a time as any to look back on some of the notable moments from the career of each man and then speculate irresponsibly as to who will take this one. Above, you see Nick Diaz’s crowning achievement – his victory over Takanori Gomi. What a shame that those facists at the athletic commission insisted on drug testing him afterwards and then changing the result to a no contest because of a
little shitload of weed in his system.
Nonetheless, we know what happened. Diaz proved two important things in this fight: 1) he can take a beating, and 2) he’s always a threat to submit you, especially in transition and off his back. However, in this fight we also see the patented Diaz striking style. His hands out in front, his head a stationary target, coming forward and wearing you down with accumulation of strikes more than with power.
Now let’s take a look at something recent from Shamrock’s portfolio.
(Want to know why Goldberg and Ranallo found themselves on the worst commentary list? Just turn the volume up and force yourself to watch the whole thing, gentlemen.)
Shamrock would obviously claim that injuries kept him from performing at 100% on this night, but let’s be real, he’s getting on in years and that’s part of it. Plenty of trademarks of the Shamrock style are on display here, such as the constant smack-talking and showboating, the pinpoint strikes and combinations, and of course some stuff that’s just plain weird (pirouettes, Frank?)
Noticeably absent is any sign of overwhelming power, which is what you’d expect would make the difference in Diaz/Shamrock. But not only did Shamrock not overwhelm Baroni with punching power, he hasn’t been much on takedowns or muscling guys around in general lately. He said he couldn’t shoot against Baroni and chose not to take Cung Le down (obviously a bullshit Shamrock excuse). But look at him here against Renzo Gracie:
Before Shamrock gets frustrated and knees him illegally in the head a few times, it’s Gracie who’s controlling the fight, getting it to the ground and keeping it there without much trouble. And as great a jiu-jitsu practitioner as Renzo is, an overpowering man he is not. It makes you think that just maybe Diaz could put Shamrock on his back and win it there if his ego doesn’t get in the way. But then you see this:
Yes, it’s a loss on cuts, but it also isn’t particularly encouraging if you’re a Diaz supporter. Noons shows the blueprint for beating Diaz: making him come to you, countering against his wide open defense, and making him desperate for takedowns. Diaz’s good transition game led to him trying for too much and allowing Noons to get back on his feet, so how will it do against a more seasoned fighter like Shamrock?
So who are we picking, based on the video evidence? Shiiiieeet. For the answer to that question, you might have to wait for this week’s pick-em contest. And who knows, we might even have a little something special to give away…