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Strikeforce: Don’t Miss Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 18th, 2010 by David Glisan

Strikeforce: Don’t Miss Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis
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Strikeforce will present their next event on Saturday, January 30th from the Bank Atlantic Center in South Florida and broadcast in the US on Showtime.  In addition to former NFL star Herschel Walker’s MMA debut, the latest former WWE superstar turned MMA fighter Bobby Lashley will fight in the Strikeforce cage for the first time.  Women’s MMA will also be represented on the card as the frighteningly dominant Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos defends her title against Marloes Coenen.  DREAM/K-1 competitor Melvin Manhoef will also be on the card, fighting a tough opponent in Robbie Lawler.  In the main event, Nick Diaz will take on DREAM welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis in what could be one of the best fights of the year.

One of the most impressive things that Strikeforce has done in the past year was forming what appears to be a viable working relationship with the Japanese MMA promotion DREAM.  This opens the door not only to lucrative co-promotional opportunities in Japan (the world’s #2 MMA marketplace) but to DREAM fighters appearing in the US on Strikeforce events.  This gives Strikeforce a much deeper talent pool from which to draw, and the prospect of the top Japanese fighters like Shinya Aoki fighting on US soil is potentially the biggest thing to happen this year for serious MMA geeks.

The DREAM/Strikeforce relationship is in evidence on the Strikeforce: Miami card, where DREAM welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis will face Nick Diaz in the main event for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title.  Zaromskis exploded to prominence in Japan  by virtue of his rampage through the final rounds of the DREAM welterweight tournament where he knocked out Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai and Jason High with almost identical Mirko Cro Cop-esque high left kicks to the head.  He kicked another victim into unconsciousness at DREAM 12, needing only 19 seconds to bludgeon overmatched Ho Bae Myeon.

Nick Diaz is well known to US fans as MMA’s perpetually troubled youth.  As a fighter, Diaz has all of the physical and technical skills with insane conditioning (he does Ironman triathlons for ‘entertainment’) and a skill set that is rivaled by few in the sport.  Diaz has excellent standup boxing skills (he’s had a couple of pro boxing fights) and though he doesn’t have much KO power has good handspeed and workrate in his punches.  His real strength is his ground game–as one of only four Caesar Gracie BJJ black belts there’s few fighters in the world that can roll with Diaz and get the best of it.  Diaz is also got the perfect ‘you’ll have to kill me to beat me’ mentality for a fighter, a product of his rough upbringing in Stockton, California.

Diaz would be the best pound for pound MMA fighter in the world if his brain did not resemble the interior of Cheech and Chong’s van.  He’s an outspoken marijuana advocate and aficionado, and  at various points in his career his fondness for ‘da chronic’ has overshadowed his ambitions as a fighter.  While reasonable people can debate whether marijuana should be legal or not, the reality is that with a greater emphasis on drug testing by athletic commissions worldwide its not really a good move for a fighter to blow blunts.  Even if you do have a medical marijuana prescription like Diaz (his is for ‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ which to this untrained mind sounds like prescribing cocaine for insomnia) most athletic commissions don’t make the distinction about whether the ganja got into your system legally or illegally.

On a certain level, Diaz’s fondness for the ‘hippie lettuce’ is what makes him such an intriguing fighter.  The conventional wisdom is that pot smokers are much more likely to be laying on a couch mid-afternoon watching ‘Scooby Doo’ reruns and eating Taco Bell  than to be a high level athlete, but Diaz turns that on its head.  While he may run afoul of the various regulatory bodies governing the sport there’s no doubt whatsoever that Diaz has all of the discipline, work ethic and devotion to improvement that you could want from any fighter.  Personally, there are few in the sport that I enjoy watching compete more than Diaz.  The flip side of that, however, is that there will always be questions about how good Diaz could be if he had a less devoted relationship with ‘Mary Jane’.

In any case, this should be one hell of a fight.  Zaromskis standup is unorthodox yet effective, and his fight stopping high left kick could knock Diaz’s head all the way to the Bahamas should it connect.  Though Zaromskis has a decent wrestling background, there’s little to suggest that he can hang with Diaz on the ground.  Keep in mind, however, that Diaz has shown a tendency throughout his career to engage in slugfests against top notch strikers.  He could probably end the fight quickly on the ground, but he’s more likely to want to trade and bang with Zaromskis.

Ultimately, I think Diaz will win this fight but it could provide some of the best action you’ll see all year.  Definitely a ‘can’t miss’ main event.

 
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4 Responses to “Strikeforce: Don’t Miss Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis”

  1. Bob says:

    Your focus on marijuana use is a perfect example of the misconceptions people have about one of the safest pharmacological substances known to humanity. Instead of focusing on how Nick Diaz is one of the best fighters in the world, you choose to make light his political ideals and invalidate his personal medical condition with a series of lame, worn-out pot jokes.

    Get over yourself. Marijuana reform is a legitimate political issue. The substance itself is safer than alcohol, even safer than aspirin. Would you have written such flip article about a fighter who likes to have a beer now and then, or who takes a couple pills to relieve the pain of training non-stop? How about the fighter who has bars, nightclubs, or alcohol manufacturers as sponsors? Or energy drinks?

    It’s articles like this one that take the emphasis off the fighter and focuses it on something that should be a non-issue. This is what is preventing Nick Diaz from being the champion he deserves to be. You are just as bad (and just as untrained) as the athletic commissions that prevent Diaz from fighting just for using what helps him get through the day best.

  2. David Glisan says:

    Personally, I’m a Libertarian and favor the legalization of all drugs. And personally I could care less what Diaz does in his spare time. Unfortunately, the various state athletic commissions don’t share this attitude. While in theory I’d love Diaz’s pot smoking to be a non-issue here’s the reality: a professional fighter as a finite career span. While on a philosophical level Diaz might be right to not play the drug testing game on a practical level it hurts himself as he’s more marginalized as a fighter than his considerable talents warrant. He’s already lost a victory in a potentially career defining fight against Takanori Gomi to a positive drug test. You’re correct in your comments about the general harmlessness of marijuana. But unless the view of the oversight bodies that sanction fights in this country changes drastically in the next couple of years Diaz will be forced to make a decision whether he wants to do what is necessary to reach his potential as a fighter or whether he wants to be a ‘marijuana advocate’. Maybe in a perfect world he could do both, but as you’re well aware that’s not the case. Don’t shoot the messenger here–I generally agree with you but that doesn’t change the realities that Diaz faces with his career as a professional fighter.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. The Athletic commissions worldwide need to be educated by Board Certified Physicians, Psychologists and Psychiatrists with specific training in ADD/ADHD ASAP.
    The neurotransmitters of the frontal lobe of the brain are affected. The neurons which carry nerve impulses will misfire causing an individual to FORGET the most simple tasks. For example, he or she may misplace keys, shoes, textbooks ect.
    A person with ADD/ADHD needs structure in their lives. Most often they are gifted in other fields. In Nick’s case, he is a focused, gifted prized MMA fighter.
    David, you should have picked up a copy of Scientific American and educated yourself before making the comments from your 5th paragraph.
    Mr Kiza stated that “the drug is banned because of the damage it does to the person taking it.” Actually and for the record: Amphetamines, e.g. Ritilin, Dexedrine and other drugs do far more damage to some individuals than a toke!
    David, the past is gone, need to get rid of the labels which hinder our growth, that is to say, we only have today. Live in the moment.

    This is for NICK DIAZ: Kaze so.ra mizu ka.ji ko.ge.ki ho.ho.e.mi na.mi

  4. The Athletic commissions worldwide need to be educated by Board Certified Physicians, Psychologists and Psychiatrists with specific training in ADD/ADHD ASAP.

    The neurotransmitters of the frontal lobe of the brain are affected. The neurons which carry the nerve impluses will misfire causing an individual to FORGET even the most simple tasks. For example, he or she may misplace keys, shoes, textbooks ect. A person with ADD/ADHD needs structure in their lives. Most often they are gifted in other fields. In Nick’s case, he is a focused gifted prized MMA fighter.

    David, you should have picked up a copy of Scientific American and educated yourself before making the comments from your 5th paragraph.

    Mr. Kiza stated that ” the drug is banned because of the damage it does to the person taking it.”

    Actually, and for the record: Amphetamines, e.g. Ritilin, Dexedrine and other drugs do far more damage to some individuals than a toke!

    For Nick Diaz: kaze so.ra mizu ka.ji ko.ge.ki ho.ho.e.mi na.mi

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