Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

Wes Sims vs Bobby Lashley

SUNRISE, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2010) – Nick Diaz (21-7) of Stockton, Calif., won his sixth straight and the first-ever STRIKEFORCE welterweight championship with a 4:38, first-round TKO over Marius Zaromskis (13-4) of London, England, and the first and only STRIKEFORCE Female lightweight champion, Cris Cyborg (9-1) of Curitiba, Brazil, successfully defended her 145-title for the initial time with a third-round TKO over Marloes Coenen (17-4) of Deventer, Holland, in the co-featured matches of an action-packed mixed martial arts card before 8,156 at BankAtlantic Center Saturday on SHOWTIME®.

In other results on the main portion of Strikeforce’s first event in 2010, former pro and college football superstar Herschel Walker of San Jose, Calif., made his pro MMA debut at age 47 a winning one, registering a third-round TKO (2:17) over Hungarian-born Greg Nagy (1-2) of Phoenix, Ariz., former two-time world champion “Ruthless’’ Robbie Lawler (17-5, 1 NC) of Granite City, Ill., rallied from the brink of defeat to score a spectacular 3:33, first-round knockout (punches) over Melvin Manhoef (24-7-1) of Amsterdam and unbeaten Bobby Lashley of Coconut Creek, Fla., won his Strikeforce debut and improved to 5-0 with a 2:06, first-round TKO over Wes Sims (22-13-1, 2 NC) of Lancaster, Ohio.

The event, presented by SHOWTIME and STRIKEFORCE, aired live simultaneously on SHOWTIME® and on the Web (Strikeforce: All Access) at http://strikeforce.sho.com. The SHOWTIME telecast began at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast); the Strikeforce: All Access webcast went at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

In a fight streamed live on EA SPORTS™ MMA website (www.easportsmma.com), Jay Heiron (19-4) of Las Vegas took a unanimous three-round decision over Joe Riggs (32-11) of Phoenix to put him in position to possibly fight for the Strikeforce welterweight title.

111 Marius Zaromskis vs Nick Diaz Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

Southpaw Diaz, a talented, Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, mostly outclassed Zaromskis in the match for the vacant world title. Diaz decisively defeated the Dutchman at his own game: striking.

112 Marius Zaromskis vs Nick Diaz Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

“I’ll fight anybody,’’ said Diaz, who has been victorious in seven of his last eight and hasn’t lost in more than two years. I felt real good fighting again at 170. But the guy I really want is Gegard Mousasi.’’

113 Marius Zaromskis vs Nick Diaz Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

Cyborg had to work hard to defeat the courageous Coenen, who at no point seemed intimidated by the powerful Brazilian bomber and fought like it. She certainly wasn’t totally overwhelmed and presented Cyborg with more problems than the vast majority of Cyborg’s opponents.

108 Marloes Coenen vs Cris Cyborg Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

In the end, Cyborg was too tough and rough. “I’m very happy to win this fight,’’ said Cyborg shortly the heated scrap was stopped at 3:40 of the third. “It was a good fight. I think I could have done more but she was the toughest fighter I’ve faced and has a great heart. I admire her a lot.’’

109 Marloes Coenen vs Cris Cyborg Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

Coenen, a strikingly attractive submission whiz who couldn’t take down Cyborg, wanted the fight to continue. “This is extremely disappointing to say the least,’’ she said. “This was for a world title. It should have been allowed to go a little longer. I wanted to fight.’’

110 Marloes Coenen vs Cris Cyborg Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Walker was satisfied with his performance in his highly-anticipated, much-publicized debut. Endurance-wise, he didn’t fight like a man his age. He was still breathing easily during the post-fight interview.

106 Greg Nagy vs Herschel Walker Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

“I feel good but I didn’t do many things right and I still have a lot to learn,’’ said Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time Pro Bowl competitor. “The experience itself was exciting and I thank my opponent for fighting me. It’s tough to fight an old man. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

107 Greg Nagy vs Herschel Walker Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

“I thought I’d be more nervous. I’m an MMA fighter now. I earned a little bit of a stripe tonight. This is one of my biggest athletic achievements ever.’’

103 Melvin Manhoef vs Robbie Lawler Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

Nothing was going right for the left-handed Lawler for more than three minutes as the highly regarded Manhoef had his way. But a savage overhand right rocked Manhoef and a left that caught him on the way down ended matters almost immediately.

104 Melvin Manhoef vs Robbie Lawler Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

“I knew this guy was really a killer, but I knew I would catch him,’’ Lawler said. “When he looks to finish, he really loads up. I just lured him in and got him.

105 Melvin Manhoef vs Robbie Lawler Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

“He was chopping and chopping and he was really hurting me with the leg kicks. When I felt the first one land, I knew I could get one more in and finish, and that’s what I did.’’

102 Wes Sims vs Bobby Lashley Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

Lashley, who wants to fight for a world title, said Saturday’s exercise against the 6-foot-10-inch Sims was an excellent learning experience.

101 Wes Sims vs Bobby Lashley Strikeforce: Diaz, Cyborg, Lawler and Walker Score Wins

“Anytime you win and learn something, it’s a good night,’’ he said. “Sims is a tall guy who came in with nothing to lose, almost like he didn’t care, and those are the guys that are usually the hardest to fight.

“I want to continue to step up.’’

Hieron outpointed Riggs by the scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28: “I wanted to beat Joe and show that I am a top fighter,’’ Heiron said. “I want to fight the winner of Diaz-Zaromskis. Actually, I hope it is Diaz but I don’t care.’’

STRIKEFORCE: Miami will be available On Demand beginning Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Mauro Ranallo called the action on SHOWTIME with MMA expert Stephen Quadros and MMA superstar Frank Shamrock serving as expert analysts.

In Saturday’s non-televised results: Pablo “The Hurricane’’ Alfonso (5-1), Jacksonville Fla., submitted (armbar) Marcos “Parrumpinha” DeMatta (8-1), Coconut Creek, Fla., at 1:47 in the first round (140 pounds); Hayder Hasan (3-1), Coconut Creek, KO 2 (2:42, punches) over Ryan Keenan (3-1), Orlando, Fla., at 170 pounds; John Kelly (4-0), Miami, submitted (rear naked choke) Sabah Homasi (2-0), West Palm Beach, Fla., at 2;48 of the second round (170 pounds); Michael Byrnes (1-2), Port Saint Lucie, Fla., won a majority decision (30-27 twice and 29-29) over David Zitnik (4-7), Sunrise, at 155 pounds; David Gomez (1-2), Miami, won a unanimous decision (30-27 three times) over Craig Oxley (0-3), Miami (145 pounds); ad Joe Ray (1-0), Miami, TKO 1 (3:14, strikes) over John Clarke (0-1), Hollywood, Fla. (170 pounds).

For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and STRIKEFORCE mixed martial arts telecasts, along with access to the SHOWTIME Sports Facebook® and Twitter® pages, please go to http://Sports.Sho.com.

About STRIKEFORCE

STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com ) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995,STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.

Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.



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